What Happens Behind the Scenes
The first goal on our list has many complex components that are executed by a Recall Leader at each operating company. These responsibilities include:
- Confirm all product information from the supplier issuing the recall is correct and complete
- Check inventory to determine if recalled product was received, shipped, or is still in inventory
- Segregate and Label recalled product still in inventory so it does not ship
- Determine all of the customers who were shipped recalled product
- Contact customers who received recalled product
- Describe the product recall to the person in charge at the customer location
- Provide disposal and credit instructions to the customer if they still have recalled product in stock
- Maintain all product recall documentation to comply with FDA Recall investigations
- Report involvement in the product recall to FDA via the Reportable Food Registry
- Conduct Recall Effectiveness Check
- Determine improvement opportunities after the recall is CLOSED
In the end, the true measure of an effective recall is immeasurable…people who don’t get sick are still willing and happy to return to your establishment.
Participating in Recalls
Performance Foodservice distribution centers never issue product recalls, we participate in them. If you get a recall notice from Performance Foodservice, it is because we have been notified by a supplier of a product recall. If we are not notified by a supplier of a recall, then Performance Foodservice and our customers are not a part of the recall.
Recalls come in many types and varieties
Because not all recalls are created equal, here is an official list of recall types along with two other definitions that are often confused with recalls:
- Class 1 Recall: Illness, perhaps death, is reasonably probably if exposed to product
- Class 2 Recall: Temporary and reversible illness is remotely probable if exposed to product
- Class 3 Recall: No adverse health effects are likely if exposed to product
- Market Withdrawal: Usually issued for quality not safety purposes; product may be corrected
- Product Hold: This is a step in the recall process
Simple, efficient communications
During a recall, every second counts when getting the word out. Due to the urgency of a recall, we leverage our automated food recall and withdrawal notification system, Instant Recalls. This system allows us to quickly call all customers impacted and ensure product is properly disposed of. Communications during a recall should be short and to the point. Our recall communications will always include the following information:
- Supplier Item Number
- Distributor Item Number
- Product Description
- All Case and Label Codes (manufacturer code, Best/Use By Date, Lot Code, Pack Date, etc.)
- Sale/Invoice Date
- Quantity Shipped
- Instructions for disposal and credit
- Contact person for Question
No news is good news
Performance Foodservice will only notify affected customers who receive recalled product. Due to the time and effort needed to complete the recall process, sending notices to customers who are not affected and have safe/non-recalled product is impractical and only slows down the more urgently needed communications to our affected customers. In the event you are not contacted by Performance Foodservice during a recall event, you may assume the product you have is safe to serve.
Many recalls happen too late
Unfortunately, recalled product sometimes is prepared and eaten before a recall is even issued; this is usually due to the length of time it takes for illnesses to be reported. When a recall happens after product is consumed, there is hope that safe cooking procedures could possibly eradicate the microbiological agent, or that high-risk people were not exposed to the unsafe food and the immune systems of healthy people did not allow the disease to progress.
We value your recall questions and suggestions
Making the recall process better is a good thing for everyone. We welcome any and all questions or suggestions which will help Performance Foodservice improve the recall process so our customers are confident we are doing everything we can to protect their businesses and their guests.