Food Recall System Effectiveness: Industry and Government Perspectives within Canada

Carly Winters, Anne Wilcock, Jeff Farber

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 161-169, May 2017

Volume 37, Issue 3: Pages 161–169

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This study was conducted to explore what constitutes an effective food recall within the Canadian context. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were created based on the literature and the pretesting of questions. Nine interviews were conducted by telephone or Skype video call, and all were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with the NVivo 11 Pro software. The research findings — a collection of personal opinions and experiences — represent the perceived strengths and shortcomings of various aspects of the Canadian and industry-specific food recall systems, as well as suggestions for improvement. All participants expressed overall confidence in Canada’s food recall system and reiterated the importance of factors that lead to recall effectiveness, such as preparation (training, mock recalls, updated documentation), clear roles and responsibilities of the core recall team, implementing of recall tools and systems, fostering a food safety culture, building communication systems, and educating the consumer. Limitations and suggestions for improving the current recall system include improved transparency and knowledge mobilization among manufacturers, suppliers, and regulators, specifically regarding risk assessments and traceability systems.

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