Routine when registering an incident or crisis, in the Tradesolution ReCall portal
1 Register a new case
The product in question must be identified with a GTIN.
All product variants / packaging levels the product is included in must be registered.
2 Determine severity and health hazards
The incident should be graded based on the following health hazards:
- Causes health hazards
- Possible health hazards
- No health hazards
Different health risks entail different actions.
The supplier must assess whether it is necessary to inform Mattilsynet (the Norwegian Food Safety Authority) about the incident and consider possible alternatives with the parties involved.
The following actions are relevant:
This means that the product will be blocked pending further investigations. A blocking should trigger an activity with the distributor / retailer to prevent the product from reaching the consumer. A blocked product causes the product to be stopped at the POS (Point of Sale).
Recall is the procedure initiated when the product may have reached the consumer.
There is a potential high risk that the products may be hazardous to health.
It is crucial for the company that the recall is made known to the public. If the consumer is informed, it is important that the supplier has the capacity to handle any customer inquiries.
According to Matloven (Food Law), the operators have a notification requirement.
Withdrawal means that the product is withdrawn from the distribution chain / store. The purpose is to prevent products from reaching the consumer.
Withdrawal implies that consumers do not need to be notified.
In some cases, the product can have reached the consumer, and still being withdrawn and not recalled. If this is the case, it is assumed that the product does not entail any kind of health hazard, and that it applies only to a small quantity.
- Other handling
In some cases, a supplier wants to provide information about a product to the parties in the value chain, for instance linked to reputation. This can be instructions on various measures the supplier wants the trading partner to take without causing the product to be blocked, recalled or withdrawn.
3 Notify affected parties / recipients
All parties affected by the incident shall be notified. All information pertaining to the case must be registered and follow the case until it is closed.
Mattilsynet (The Norwegian Food Safety Authority) must be notified if the incident is classified as a health hazard and that a recall is carried out.
4 Register distribution and what to do with the product
It must be registered whether the product is distributed through a wholesaler, directly to a retailer or possibly a combination.
It must be clearly described and agreed how the products are to be handled and who is responsible for this.
Examples of handling:
- Distributor / retailer throws the product on site
- The product is quarantined / temporarily blocked pending further investigations
- The product is disposed at an approved waste management facility
- The product is returned to the distributor and further on to the supplier
- Consumer should throw or return the product
- The product can be given away
In cases where the product is to be disposed, this must be done at an approved waste management facility, and without any risk of contamination.
5 Register tracking information for affected batches / lots
All relevant tracking information for the product must be provided.
- All expiry dates
- Batch / lot number for affected batches / lots
- SSCC codes for the load carriers (pallets) this product is distributed on through the value chain
Correct labelling, and that this information has previously been sent in the EDI Despatch Advice, provides an accurate identification of the affected batches / lots and allows for a limited (surgical) recall / withdrawal.
It is also encouraged to take pictures of the product so that any consumer can more easily identify which product the incident applies to, and how the product is labeled.
6 Describe further actions to be taken, with press releases and other additional information
Additional information about the case may include:
- Copy of press releases
- Detailed information on the risk or hazards if eaten or used
- Information about when the product can be expected to be available again (freshly notified) in case all products are recalled / withdrawn
- Where to find additional information
- A precise description of the handling of the goods, both at distributor and retailer site
It is recommended that involved parties (supplier and customer) mutually inform each other before proceeding with information.
It is important that the authorities and the media are informed at the right time. The information required depends on the severity and extent of the incident / crisis.
7 Closing the case
The incident / crisis should be closed once it has come under control.
Information that should be communicated is:
- The time when a freshly announced product is available again
- Identification (characteristics) of a freshly reported product
- Financial conditions (settlement, credit)