India’s food regulator has framed a comprehensive recall policy to ensure manufacturers inform people when their food is declared unsafe and is being recalled.
"The food business operator initiating a food recall shall promptly inform food business operator(s) in the food chain including consumers about the recall," said the final gazette notification (food recall procedure) issued by Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) on January 25.
Both print or electronic media can be used to quickly inform people about food recall.
The policy follows the controversy surrounding the recall of Nestle India’s popular instant noodles in 2015.
"Tracing of products in the supply and distribution chain becomes an issue if we are dealing with big food business operators, which is why we have asked them to maintain all records," said an FSSAI official.
Manufacturers have been asked to maintain complete food distribution records, including the names and addresses of suppliers and customers, nature of food, date of purchase, date of
delivery, lot number, batch code, pack size, brand name, date of manufacture, date of expiry and best before date, for at least a year after their expiry or best before date.
Sale and manufacturing needs to be immediately stopped of the 'recalled' product.
Only exceptions are restaurants, caterers and takeaway joints, who have been exempted from having a recall plan unless they are running multi-outlet food business chains with integrated
manufacturing and distribution network.
"It is a well-deliberated policy and should help us safeguard the health of consumers," the official said.