Q&A: The FDA and Mandatory Recalls

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 12:00pm
Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

With more news about food and beverage recalls, there’s a growing concern that the industry won’t be able to keep up with new regulation that allows the FDA to trigger mandatory recalls at food distributors. In order to get some more details on the rules, and how companies are going to deal with the changes, our sister publication got in touch with Joe Scioscia, vice president of sales for VAI. Give me some details into the FDA’s new ability to invoke mandatory recalls. How is this different from before?

Joe Scioscia: For the first time, FDA will have mandatory recall authority for all food products.  While FDA expects that it will only need to invoke this authority infrequently since the food industry is largely compliant with FDA’s requests for voluntary recalls, this new authority is a critical improvement in FDA’s ability to protect the public health. How will that affect food distributors? Do they need to implement any extra software or processes to be able to deal with the possibility of a mandatory recall?

Joe Scioscia: The FDA will be able to request records relating to the manufacturing, processing, packing, distribution, receipt, holding or importation of any suspect product. Thus, keeping good records on the raw materials used in production and the customers that received the finished product is critical in locating products for recall.

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