PFIAA Pet Food Recall Protocol

The PFIAA helps safeguard the health and wellbeing of Australian pets by requiring all members to have a recall protocol.  While many members have their own recall guidelines, these must meet the PFIAA recall requirements at a minimum, or they can follow the PFIAA’s protocol (sample below) to ensure pet food that is considered unsafe can be removed from distribution, sale or consumption.

What is the purpose of this Protocol?

The Pet food Industry Association of Australia Recall Protocol (the Protocol) provides information on recalling pet food in Australia and guidance for pet food businesses on developing A Pet Food Recall Plan.

A pet food recall is action taken to remove from distribution, sale and consumption, pet food which is unsafe. This means pet food that may cause illness or other physical harm to a pet consuming the pet food.

The three primary objectives of a pet food recall are to:

  • stop the distribution and sale of the product as soon as possible
  • inform the pet food businesses that have received the recalled pet food, PFIAA, the public and other stakeholders of the problem
  • effectively and efficiently remove unsafe product from the marketplace.

This Protocol provides guidance only and is not legally binding. Recall systems should be tailored to the individual needs of a pet food business. A business may seek independent advice (including legal advice) about the system it develops for pet food recalls.

While the obligations of the pet food business is the focus of this document, it also extends to the expectations of distributors and pet food retailers. As both are essential to the traceability and record-keeping process, guidance on the authority to sell/supply pet foods is given. It is the responsibility of all members to ensure traceability at all points within the supply chain.

What does the Protocol cover?

This Protocol helps pet food businesses plan for and respond to a need to recall potentially unsafe pet food by setting out:

  • the roles and responsibilities of pet food businesses and relevant external stakeholders during a pet food recall
  • the key steps in the pet food recall process
  • important elements of a pet food recall plan.

Attachments provided include:

  • writing a pet food recall plan for your pet food business plus a recall checklist
  • contact details for key stakeholders
  • an explanation of how recalls are classified
  • examples of problems and suggested actions
  • examples of recall notifications and press advertisements
  • example recall distribution list.

Does my pet food business need a Pet food Recall Plan?

The Australian Standard: AS5812 (the Standard) requires manufacturers and marketers of pet food to have a system in place to manage the recall of unsafe pet food. The requirement is specified in 2.13 Product Tracing and Recall of the code. It states that:

Product recall procedures shall be documented. The documented procedure shall identify—
(a) the circumstances that could trigger a recall
(b) the members of a recall team;
(c) the responsibilities and the contact details of the team members including out of hours contact information;
(d) methods to identify, locate and control recalled product;
(e) how recalled product will be isolated on return until appropriate disposal procedures
have been determined;
(f) how the recall procedure is tested by conducting a mock recall.

A Pet Food Recall Plan is the written document a pet food business produces detailing their recall system. It enables a pet food business to recall unsafe pet food from the marketplace and consumers, effectively and efficiently in order to protect pet health and safety. Guidance for pet food businesses on writing a Pet Food Recall Plan is included in the Protocol.

Need more information on how to become a member?

Members have access to various resources, technical assistance, guidance and support across the pet food industry. Become a member today.