Conducting a product recall—food and drink
Produced in partnership with Tom Fox of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
Conducting a product recall—food and drink

The following Risk & Compliance practice note produced in partnership with Tom Fox of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conducting a product recall—food and drink
  • Applicable legislation and definitions
  • Guidance
  • Food safety requirements
  • Traceability
  • Notification
  • Trigger for notification
  • Who to notify?
  • How to notify
  • Food alerts and the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for Risk & Compliance?

Applicable legislation and definitions

The main piece of legislation relevant to food product recalls is the General Food Law Regulation (EC) No 178/2002. This EU legislation is directly applicable and provides the general principles of food safety. The Food Safety Act 1990 (FSA 1990) (as amended) provides the framework for all food legislation in the UK and similar legislation applies in Northern Ireland.

‘Food’ is defined as:

'any substance or product, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans'

This definition includes drink.

A food business operator is the person or company responsible for ensuring the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control. Guidance indicates that this extends to anyone supplying food, except in the context of domestic private consumption.


Extensive guidance also appears on the Food Standards Agency's

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