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US: System to speed product recalls

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and GS1 US have announced the launch of Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service to enable prompt and accurate information exchange between retailers/wholesalers and suppliers about food and product recalls and withdrawals.

This replaces an existing recall system, the Product Recall Portal, by improving ease of use and adding significant capabilities, says FMI.

Rapid Recall Exchange represents industry consensus that a standardised product recall system is critical to enhancing effective communication. It is a system designed by the industry and for the industry, which applies best practices and critical insight and expertise from industry partners and associations,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO.

“This will benefit the public as well as the companies that use it,” said Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US. “It employs the same GS1 global standards that these companies already use to identify their products, stock their shelves, and accelerate checkouts. Its ease of use and extensive functionality can improve the speed and accuracy of recalls, which we all want.”

Rapid Recall Exchange complements existing recall practices, complies with the requirements of the FDA Reportable Food Registry, and features: secure user-authentication; 2-way messaging between trading partners; internet access; e-mail alerts about new information; comprehensive, prioritised information with U.P.C. bar codes and product images for easy identification; verification of notification; universal notification of Class 1 recalls; targeted notification to specific customers; consistent, reliable communications; standardised forms, processes and instructions applying industry best practices.

The system also allows suppliers to send targeted information to retailers and wholesalers to provide specific information on how to remove recalled or withdrawn products and handle them safely, as well as address reimbursement requirements.

Rapid Recall Exchange is supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and National Grocers Association (N.G.A.).

Natalie Berkhout

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