New recall system debuts

Arlington, Va.-based The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and GS1 US today announced the launch of Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service to enable prompt and accurate information exchange between retailers/wholesalers and suppliers about food and product recalls and withdrawals.

Replacing an existing recall system, the Product Recall Portal, it improves ease of use and adds significant capabilities.

Supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and National Grocers Association (N.G.A.), Rapid Recall Exchange complements existing recall practices, complies with the requirements of the FDA Reportable Food Registry, and features: Secure user-authentication; two-way messaging between trading partners; Internet access anywhere, anytime; Email alerts about new information; comprehensive, prioritized information with U.P.C. bar codes and product images for easy identification; verification of notification; universal notification of Class 1 recalls;  targeted notification to specific customers; consistent, reliable communications; and standardized forms, processes and instructions applying industry best practices.

 The system also allows suppliers to send targeted information to retailers and wholesalers to provide specific information on how to remove recalled or withdrawn products and handle them safely, as well as address reimbursement requirements.

All companies already participating in the FMI Product Recall Portal will automatically receive Rapid Recall Exchange subscriptions. The current subscriber list includes 8 wholesalers, 45 retailers (representing 157 banners, 11,076 stores and more than $209 billion in sales) and 40 manufacturers (representing more than $300 billion in annual revenues).

Rapid Recall Exchange is available for a nominal fee to cover operating expenses. To encourage quick and widespread adoption of the system, FMI and GS1 US are offering free trial subscriptions to retailers and wholesalers that sign up by Oct. 30. The trial period runs through Dec. 31, 2009. More information is available at www.rapidrecallexchange.org.

"Manufacturers are eager to work closely with retailers and wholesalers to facilitate information exchange, especially during the urgent time of a product recall," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. "We are pleased to support this unique tool that will help protect consumers by providing critical product information directly to those who can act on it quickly."