Food Decision Software, a Richmond Hill, Ontario, company that develops software for food producers, processors and distributors throughout North America, is offering food recall plan templates at no charge.
The decision to offer the templates came after a company-conducted survey last fall found that more than 50% of the respondents in the U.S. and Canada had no formal recall plan in place, said Michael Benedick, director of marketing and sales for Food Decision Software.
“‘We’re only a distributor; we don’t need that’ was a frequent response,” he said.
“But they were in violation of the U.S. Bioterrorism Act of 2002 and similar Canadian laws.”
The primary reasons for the food companies’ failure to comply, Benedick said, were the complexity of creating a recall plan and the time required to do so.
To help customers and potential customers comply with the laws, Food Decision Software elected to develop recall plan templates that can be customized for all food industry firms, he said.
“We compiled information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,” Benedick said. “The templates identify everything a company needs to manage traceability.”
The recall plan templates are applicable to major producers and processors “down to mom-and-pop operations with 20 employees or fewer,” he said.
The recall plan documents can be generated manually, but Benedick said computer programs like WinFDS offered by Food Decision Software make the job much easier.
In the event of a recall, the templates provide guidance to protect consumers and the company alike, he said, and are much more specific than issuing a blanket recall.
“Using the templates, a company need not be forced to recall all products it’s distributed, but can isolate just those food items in question.”
The free recall plan templates are available by request on the company’s Web site, www.fooddecisionsoftware.com.