Recall Program Checklist


A recall program is important to all food processors large or small. An effective recall program allows you to remove suspect product form the market quickly and properly.

Use these checklists - in conjunction with the sample recall procedure and associated sample documents provided at the end of this section - to help you in building an effective program for your facility.

Your Recall Program should include:

  • A product labelling and coding system, including:

Note: Product coding refers to a system for identifying products and separating them by production lots (batches). The system will assign a lot code to products.

    • a definition of your facility's "production lot" and "product codes" - a unique code should be applied to each production lot
    • instructions for applying the unique product code to all finished product
    • instructions to review products at predetermined frequencies to ensure the correct labels are applied
  • A recall team, including (depending on size of facility):
    • an appointed Recall Coordinator (often the Food Safety Coordinator)
    • senior staff person
    • personnel from departments such as sales, shipping, etc.
    • positions and contact information for all recall team members
  • Instructions and methods to identify and control affected product including:
    • detailed production and inventory records
    • detailed shipping records containing exact amounts of each product (by lot code) shipped, customer name
    • method to isolate affected product to prevent further contamination
    • instructions for conducting a Food Safety Assessment to determine best method of disposition of affected product
  • Information and instructions for contacting authorities, for example:
    • CFIA (Area Recall Coordinators)
    • Municipal Health Unit
    • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
  • Information and instructions for contacting affected customers
    • up-to-date customer contact information stored on site and easily accessible
  • Instructions for conducting a Mock Recall and ensuring its effectiveness. Your Mock Recall procedure should be pre-scheduled and conducted annually to ensure:
    • contact information for members of the Recall Team is up-to-date
    • contact information for all customers and authorities is up-to-date
    • effectiveness of the recall is calculated and is 100% - if not 100%, gaps or flaws in the procedures should be investigated and appropriate corrective actions taken
    • a recall can take place in 4 hours or less
  • Records of all actions taken during the course of a recall or mock recall

Your Product Labelling Records should include:

  • Who performed the product label check
  • What products were checked
  • When the product label was checked
  • What information was checked for (e.g. correct code, correct ingredient list)
  • Product check results
  • Any deviations
  • Corrective actions taken if deviations were found
  • Records signed or initialed when completed

Your Recall Program Records should include:

  • Recall and mock recall records
  • A log of all actions taken during a recall
  • Customer complaint records
  • Notice of recall

Useful Resources

Building a Recall Training Procedure


An effective recall training procedure ensures personnel understand the appropriate procedures to follow related to product labelling and coding, and for conducting a recall or mock recall in your facility. To help you build training procedures for your facility, use this checklist in conjunction with the sample Recall Training Procedure document at the end of this section.

Your Product Labelling and Recall/Mock Recall Training Procedure should include:

  • Personnel who require training
  • Frequency of training (e.g. upon hiring, when change or incident occurs, minimum annually)
  • Person responsible to deliver training and keep records
  • A process to ensure all appropriate personnel are present for training
  • A list of training materials such as:
    • copies of Product Labelling, Recall and Mock Recall Procedures
    • copies of Product labelling, Recall and Mock Recall records
    • GMP Training Kit - Module 6: Recall
    • reviews of previous mock recalls (e.g. identifying gaps in procedures, assessing effectiveness of the recall)
  • A method to assess that training was understood by participants (e.g. a written or verbal test and/or job shadowing)
  • Corrective actions to take if training assessment results are not acceptable

Your Product Labelling and Recall Training Records should include:

  • Who was in attendance - with space for employees to initial or sign to indicate they received the training
  • Date of training
  • Topic of training
  • Material used in training
  • Name and signature of the trainer conducting the training
  • Results of training assessments

Useful Resources

Building a Product Labelling and Recall Verification Procedure


An effective product labelling and recall verification procedure ensures personnel are following the appropriate steps related to product labelling and coding and recall/mock recall in your facility.

Follow this checklist in conjunction with the sample Product Labelling and Recall Verification Procedure document to help you in building an effective product labelling and recall verification procedure for your facility.

Your Product Labelling and Coding and Recall Verification Procedure should include:

  • Who performs the verification
  • When/how often they perform the verification
  • What is to be verified
  • How they perform the verification (e.g. observation or interviews with personnel)
  • Corrective action procedures to be taken if verification results show that activities are not being conducted as written, or if any deviation is found
  • Process for verifying correctness and completeness of records including:
    • mistakes have been crossed through with a single line and initialled by the designated employee, and liquid paper has not been used
    • documents have been completed in permanent ink (no pencil)
    • all records are signed and dated by the designated employee
    • no blank spaces have been left on the record - if necessary, "N/A" was recorded
    • the activities have been carried out in the appropriate frequency
    • there is no evidence of falsified entries
    • all deviations and corrective actions are documented and are suitable
    • if a deviation was recurring, a root cause analysis was conducted

Your Product Labelling and Coding, Mock Recall/Recall Verification Records should include:

  • Who performed the verification
  • What verification was performed (i.e. which procedure is being verified)
  • When the verification was performed
  • Verification results/findings
  • Any deviations
  • Corrective actions taken if deviations were found
  • Records signed or initialed when completed

Note: Verification records can be separate from monitoring records, or space can be allocated on the monitoring records to record the verification results.

Useful Resources

For more information:
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Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 19 December 2013
Last Reviewed: 08 June 2018