Saturday, May 26, 2007

Food Recall Plan

What Is A Food Recall Plan?

In the event of a foodborne illness outbreak, it is important to have traceback and recall procedures in place. We know that trace-backs cannot prevent foodborne illness from occurring but being able to review good records and quickly trace a food back to its source can limit the public health and economic impacts of an outbreak.

Food processors should develop and implement systems to facilitate tracebacks and recalls in the event of a problem, even test their systems regularly by conducting unannounced mock recalls. Traceback typically begins with the retail source of the food product thought to cause illness or injury and works back to a processing facility. Information from a traceback can often be used to aid in prevention of future illness outbreaks. Recall procedures are developed and used by processors to withdraw product that is already in the marketplace. A processor should be able to track all products. Records such as the supplier identification, production and distribution records for a specific lot of product should be orderly, properly maintained and easily retrievable in less than one hour.

It is good procedure to periodically test the firm's ability to retrieve information from the records by conducting mock recalls. Lot coding packages by date code or other coding may facilitate recovery of the product, if a recall is needed. Production records and date codes help put the puzzle together to identify the source.

What Are The Consequences Of An Outbreak That Implicates A Product?
Without records, the whole product line is suspect. All of the production procedures are suspect. More questions are raised than can be answered.

- Is the problem limited to only one day, one week, or one month of production?

- Is the source of the problem incoming product or employee practices?

- Has dirty equipment contaminated the product?

If a production facility has accurate records of effective cleaning and sanitation of equipment, has well-trained employees, and pays consistent attention to GMP, Prerequisite Programs and HACCP, the facility will greatly reduce the likelihood of it’s products causing a foodborne illness outbreak.

Useful websites:


Friday, May 25, 2007

Metal Inclusion/Contamination

Hazards and Controls Guidance : Metal Inclusion/Contamination

I found a website that states some of the limits for metal contamination, especially for fish and fisheries products. Since our Chicken and Crabmeat Quiche deal with fisheries product such as crabmeat, the limits should be applicable to the HACCP table.


This source is from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN), hence it is reliable in assessing the metal contamination in a food product such as our own Chicken and Crabmeat Quiche.

Control Strategy Example 1 - Metal Detection or Separation

Critical Limit: No metal fragments in finished product.
(Note: FDA's Health Hazard Evaluation Board has supported regulatory action against product with metal fragments of 0.3" [7 mm] to 1.0" [25mm] in length. See also FDA Compliance Policy Guide #555.425.)

How Will It Be Monitored?
How: Use a metal detection device such as installing a metal detection in the food production plant OR use a magnet/screens for separating metal fragments from a product stream, where feasible (e.g. dry/ liquid ingredients/ before baking)

Frequency: Subject all product to the control. Check that device is operating or is in place at start of each production day.

Who: Monitoring is performed by the equipment itself. A check should be made at least once per day to ensure that the device is operating or is in place. This may be performed by the equipment operator, a production supervisor, a member of the quality control staff, a member of the maintenance or engineering staff, or any other person who has an understanding of the operation of the equipment.

Control Strategy Example 2 - Equipment Checks

Critical Limit: No broken or missing metal parts from equipment at the CCPs for "Metal Inclusion"

How Will It Be Monitored?
How: Visually check the equipments used regularly for any broken/ missing parts.
E.g. Check saws for missing teeth OR check that all parts are secure on blending machines OR check for missing links in metal belts.

Frequency: Check before starting operations each day and every four hours during operation; AND
check at the end of operations each day; AND check whenever there is an equipment malfunction that could increase the likelihood that metal could be introduced into the food.

Who: Monitoring may be performed by the equipment operator, a production supervisor, a member of the quality control staff, a member of the maintenance or engineering staff, or any other person who has a thorough understanding of the proper condition of the equipment.