A food recall is a voluntary action by a food manufacturer to remove food products from the market that may cause harm or even death. There are plenty of control measures that food producers use to make sure their products are safe. Despite their efforts, it does occasionally happen that food products that are not safe to enter the market make it past these controls. This is why it’s critical to have a Food Recall Plan in place.

A Food Recall Plan is a written document that is carefully made, tested, and evaluated for maximum efficiency in case there is a need to do the recall. It is a crucial step in order to prevent customers from purchasing and consuming unsafe food products. Do you know when a written recall plan is required?

If your company does not have a Food Recall Plan in place, it could potentially lead to very serious economic and legal consequences. On the other hand, if it does, your company’s liability might be reduced. Being prepared for a recall is crucial for a food processing or manufacturing company. Do you know when to use recall notification and effectiveness checks?


Your role on the recall team may be different than your role on the food safety team. There are certain keys that will make your recall plan successful. Some of these core pieces are:

  • Recall team in place to create, manage and monitor food safety
  • Complaint file system
  • Recall contact list for whom to notify
  • Traceability for all products, ingredients, and supply chains
  • Production amounts
  • Detailed shipping and sales records
  • Recalled product records
  • Recall procedures in place
  • Recall effectiveness from start to finish
  • Testing the recall program


Different government agencies will deal with food product recalls depending on whether your company is in the United States of America or Canada.

If you are in the United States, and you are a registered FDA facility complying with FSMA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule, you must understand recall procedures under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If your company is in Canada, it is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada that will help you manage the case. These two agencies deal with all the product recalls for food processors in Canada. Same as in the U.S, these agencies may either take the main role in overseeing the case or ask the company to inform them about the process.


There are three classes of recalls. Whether your company is in the U.S. or Canada, they are the same. These classes are based on the relative degree of risk for the health that the recalled product carries.

Class I

Consuming the product might cause serious health consequences, in some cases even death. A public alert will most probably be issued. This is the most urgent type of recall. The goal here is to ensure that the product has been removed from the market as well as from people’s homes.

Class II

Consuming the product might cause a health hazard, but with less probability to actually happen. A public alert will probably be issued. This is a more intermediate threat level. The goal here is to recall items from the market as quickly as possible, though is more preventative in nature than a Class I.

Class III

Consuming the product will probably not cause any health issues. A public alert will probably not be issued. These may not pose a direct health risk but are in violation of FDA regulations.


With ImEPIK, you will gain knowledge and confidence in robust decision-making as a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual at your own pace. Study whenever you want, wherever you want. Our courses are 100% online, and there are no webinars or virtual classroom training to attend. Our course can be accessed from any of your devices, be it a PC, laptop, or tablet.

Upon completion of the course, you will get a certificate of completion to include in your food safety plan. The ImEPIK PCQI certificate can be printed, stored on your device or sent via email anytime you need to verify completion of the course with an FDA inspector.

We will help you and your company succeed in the food industry. Book your PCQI course with ImEPIK today!