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Guidance on food traceability, withdrawals and recalls within the UK food industry

We welcome stakeholder views on our newly developed guidance, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the key parties involved in food safety withdrawals and recalls in the UK.

About this consultation 

This consultation will be of interest to:

  • food businesses 
  • food enforcement authorities  
  • trade organisations
  • consumer organisations

Consultation subject

The subject of this consultation is guidance which assists food businesses in complying with food law and provides advice and supporting tools to food businesses and food enforcement authorities in dealing with food safety withdrawals and recalls. The guidance outlines legal requirements and includes best practice advice.

Consultation purpose 

In 2017, research was carried out to understand the food withdrawal and recall systems within the UK. This included some recommendations for improvement. The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, in partnership with key stakeholders from the food industry, food enforcement authorities, consumer organisations and trade bodies are addressing the recommendations, this includes the development of guidance to strengthen and improve the overall effectiveness and resilience of the UK’s food withdrawal and recall system. 

There have been no changes to the policy, science or law. 

The new guidance aims to:

  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of key players involved in food safety withdrawals and recalls
  • provide best practice guidance to help food businesses make consumer recall notifications more consistent and accessible
  • help industry make trade communications consistent and effective
  • develop and implement systematic root cause analysis procedures for industry in the event of food safety incidents

The guidance has been developed using a multi-stakeholder working group approach. We have determined that a 4-week consultation is proportionate to seek wider stakeholder views. 

We would welcome views from stakeholders on this newly developed guidance.

Consultation pack 

Comments and views 

Responses to this consultation should be sent to by 4 February 2019. 

Publication of response summary

Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.

You can find information on how we handle data provided in response to consultations in our Consultations privacy notice.

Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.