Pet Food Recall Protocol in Australia

The mission of the PFIAA is the promotion of excellence within the Australian pet food industry. Part of executing our mission is to continuously improve all aspects of pet food industry standards for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s pets.

A recent improvement to the pet food industry in Australia, driven by the efforts of the PFIAA, is the development of a thorough and robust pet food recall protocol.

This process is modelled on the same recall requirements for human food in Australia and New Zealand, administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

The role of this process is to guide pet food manufacturers in Australia on how to quickly and effectively determine if one of their products poses a health or safety risk to pets or humans. In the event of a safety concern being identified, this process then establishes steps needed to conduct a thorough and timely recall of all product in-market and in-homes.

The framework in place for the recall of human food was chosen as the benchmark for the Pet Food Industry as a tried and tested, effective method for recalling the product and to reflect the importance that the PFIAA places on pet safety in Australia.

Pet food companies who choose to be PFIAA members are committed to implementing this process in their businesses for the safety of Australia’s pets. This implementation includes;

  • A well-documented internal process in the event of a recall being required.
  • A dedicated recall co-ordinator in the business to lead the process and warrant that all steps are executed quickly and effectively.
  • A yearly mock-recall exercise to ensure the business and staff are versed in the process.

A recall for a pet food or treat would be required in any circumstance where the food or treat poses a safety risk for a pet or human and can include contamination, mislabelling that could lead to misuse of the product, tampering, or any other issue that identifies safety concerns. If there is no safety risk to a pet food product, for example in the event of discolouration of a food product that does not impact its health benefits or safety, then a recall would not be required.

PFIAA members make every effort in their quality processes to avoid a recall and these rarely occur however if you have any concerns as a consumer, reach out to the manufacturer to speak with them. The sooner a pet food company is contacted to discuss any potential concerns with a product, the faster they can address these concerns in the appropriate manner. Visit this link for more details, should you suspect a problem with your pet’s food.

In the event of a recall is deemed necessary, it’s important for consumers who are in the custody of a recalled pet food product, to be notified. In this circumstance, the pet food manufacturer will notify all required parties including the PFIAA, veterinary community via the AVA and state-based health authorities to ensure fast and broad-reaching communications. The manufacturer or company responsible for the product will also inform you of when and how consumers can obtain a product refund or replacement.

As a pet food consumer, sources of information regarding pet food recalls include the following avenues:

  • The PFIAA website.
  • Your pet food brands website and/or social media channels.
  • Your place of purchase of pet food and/or treats.

For a list of member companies committed to following this recall process as part of their PFIAA membership, visit our members page .