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Withdrawal and recall

Food businesses are obliged to withdraw and recall unsafe foods according to Article 19 of the General Food Law.

Picture from Colourbox.

A food business must only place a food that satisfies food safety requirements on the market. If an unsafe food is already on the market the food business must immediately withdraw the unsafe product. Withdrawal can take place at any stage along the food supply chain, not only when the food has reached the ultimate consumer. If the unsafe food already has been supplied to consumers the food business must inform the consumers of the reason for the withdrawal and if necessary recall the food.

When a food business withdraws a food it must inform the competent authorities of the risk and of the action it has taken. It is the responsibility of the competent authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure food safety. That could include notifying the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). The RASFF network consist of the 27 EU member states, The European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. The RASFF enables rapid exchange of information whenever a risk to food safety is identified for foods that are distributed in several European countries.

More information

The General Food Law: