According to a statement issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on November 11, the regulator will conduct a pilot of such a system in collaboration with various food industries and organisations.
The pilot will be conducted using a recall portal service involving food producers, modern trade retailers and the watchdog, with an aim to test the efficacy of recall system prior to finalisation of a recall regulation.
Food recall procedures
The statement reveals that the FSSAI has prepared draft guidelines on food recall procedures, which will guide food business operators to carry out a food recall through rapid identification and removal of unsafe food.
Apart from identification and removal, the FSSAI has also prepared guidelines on how to rapidly and efficiently inform the consumers about the potentially hazardous food in the market, it said.
If the pilot is successful, the product recall system would replace the currently used internal product recall systems used by food producers and retailers in the country, the watchdog said.
The pilot will be supervised by the regulator and will involve food producers, retailers, and GS1 India, which will provide the recall portal and facilitate training on best practices and usage of the portal.
Throughout the month-long pilot, food producers and retailers will provide dedicated resources and a single point of contact, and initiate mock recalls using recall portal, the watchdog said.
GS1 India is a non-profit organisation and a member of the global GS1 organisation, whose main activity is the development of the GS1 System, a series of standards designed to improve supply-chain management.
Back in August this year, GS1 Australia, the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Efficient Consumer Response Australia also launched their national recall system, called the GS1 Recallnet.
According to the FSSAI system, the Australian GS1 Recallnet system was in fact demonstrated to all the stakeholders at a recent meeting, and it is being touted as the model to follow for the Indian scenario as well.