How to Handle Food Recalls in Your Restaurant
A recall is by far one of the most devastating things that can happen to any brand in the food industry. On top of the negative image that could haunt the business, restaurants may also face steep sanctions and penalties from the government. Fortunately, they can take several proactive measures such as implementing food safety initiatives in order to maintain quality and safety in the production process. Adopting a technology-based solution such as a quality management system (QMS) would help streamline the process for all of those that are involved in preparation, production, and distribution of food. Whether you’re making a food safety plan for the first time or are trying to improve on what you already have, here important reminders that will help you better handle food recalls.
Establish a PlanRestaurants with multiple locations can use software and apps to communicate pertinent recall information in real-time and provide detailed information within the supply chain. Once you’ve been informed about the recall, understand the reasoning for the issuance. Recalls are classified into three groups, and USDA lists them as such:
- Class I: A health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause serious, adverse health consequences, or death. Examples include E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef, salmonella in peanut butter, or food with an undeclared allergen.
- Class II: A health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from eating the food. Examples include products containing a foreign material.
- Class III: A situation where eating the food will not cause adverse health consequences. Examples include minor labeling problems, such as improper format or undeclared ingredients that are not allergens.
- Identify all recalled products.
- Remove the items from inventory, and place them in a secure and appropriate location.
- Store the items separately from food, utensils, equipment, linens, and single-use items.
- Label the items in a way that will prevent them from being placed back in inventory.
- Inform staff not to use those products.
- Refer to the vendor's notification or recall notice to isolate or dispose of these products