General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling
8 - Complaint Handling and Recalls
This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).
Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository
8.1 Complaint Handling
8.1.1 Product Complaints
The establishment has an effective system for handling and investigating complaints.
Product complaints are important indicators of possible deficiencies in manufacturing controls and/or deficiencies in the distribution handling system. When the complaint handling system itself is deficient, it could result in failure to identify and eliminate risks.
- The manufacturer has a system to handle and investigate product complaints, which identifies the person or persons responsible for receiving, evaluating, categorizing and/or investigating complaints.
- Complaints are accurately categorized according to safety, composition and other regulatory concerns.
- Potentially serious complaints are forwarded immediately to appropriate personnel for action.
- Safety and contamination complaints are investigated by appropriately trained technical personnel.
- Examination of the complainant's specimen, the retail product or other product of the same code is conducted on complaints related to food safety.
- Complaints pertaining to composition, fraud and other regulatory concerns are investigated in an effective manner.
- The depth of the investigation is appropriate to the risk and similar complaint trends.
- Appropriate corrective action is taken for deviations identified during the investigation.
See Section 7.6.1 - Complaint Records.
8.2.1 Recall Procedure
Every manufacturer of a food establishes a written procedure to permit the complete, rapid recall of any lot of food from the market.
- The written procedure identifies the person or persons responsible (e.g. recall coordinators) and the roles and responsibilities of those who coordinate and implement a recall.
- The procedure specifies methods to identify, locate and control recalled product, and includes a requirement to investigate other products that may be affected by the hazard and should be included in the recall.
- The procedure requires that the recall be monitored to assess its effectiveness (e.g. an effectiveness check is conducted to the appropriate level of distribution specified in the recall notice).
- The CFIA is immediately notified in the region where the manufacturer is located. This notification includes the following:
- the amount of product produced, the amount in inventory and the amount distributed;
- the name, size, code or lot numbers of the recalled product;
- the area in which the product was distributed (e.g. local, national, international); and
- the reason for the recall.
See Section 7.6.2 - Distribution Records
8.2.2 Recall Capability
Recall procedures are tested periodically to verify the manufacturer's capability to rapidly identify and remove product from the market.
- The manufacturer demonstrates the capability to provide accurate information on a timely basis, in order to verify that all affected product can be rapidly identified and removed from the marketplace. For example:
- the manufacturer conducts periodic testing (i.e. mock recall) to verify the capability of the procedure to rapidly identify and control a code lot of potentially affected product, and to reconcile the amount of product produced with the amount in inventory and the amount in distribution;
- the manufacturer identifies and corrects any deficiencies in the recall procedure.
- Date modified: