New technology enhances speed of product recalls

Posted by Editorial on 23rd September 2009

A new online service released in the US is set to improve information exchange between retailers/wholesalers and suppliers about food and product recalls and withdrawals. Named Rapid Recall Exchange, the service replaces an existing recall system by improving ease of use and adding significant capabilities.

“Rapid Recall Exchange represents industry consensus that a standardised product recall system is critical to enhancing effective communication. It is a system designed by the industry and for the industry, which applies best practices and critical insight and expertise from industry partners and associations,” said Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute.

“This will benefit the public as well as the companies that use it,” added Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US which is behind the technology. “It employs the same GS1 global standards that these companies already use to identify their products, stock their shelves, and accelerate checkouts. Its ease of use and extensive functionality can improve the speed and accuracy of recalls, which we all want.”

Rapid Recall Exchange features:

• Secure user-authentication • Two-way messaging between trading partners • Internet access anywhere, anytime • Email alerts about new information • Comprehensive, prioritised information with U.P.C. bar codes and product images • Verification of notification • Universal notification of Class 1 recalls • Targeted notification to specific customers • Consistent, reliable communications • Standardised forms, processes and instructions applying industry best practices

The system also allows suppliers to send targeted information to retailers and wholesalers to provide specific information on how to remove recalled or withdrawn products and handle them safely, as well as address reimbursement requirements.

The new technology is supported by the leading manufacturing and retail industry bodies in the country.

“Manufacturers are eager to work closely with retailers and wholesalers to facilitate information exchange, especially during the urgent time of a product recall. We are pleased to support this unique tool that will help protect consumers by providing critical product information directly to those who can act on it quickly,” Pamela Bailey, President and CEO of GMA, explained.