About this guidance
Information on this web page is also available to download as a document.
Simulated food recall guidance for businesses [PDF, 562 KB]
What is a simulated food recall?
A simulated or mock recall tests the effectiveness of your traceability and recall procedures. It involves developing a scenario, carrying out your scenario in a similar way to a genuine food recall, then reviewing how effective it was to identify any areas for improvement.
A simulated recall is a bit like an emergency evacuation drill, it can help:
- to improve capability (to make a real recall quicker and more effective)
- support everyone involved so they are clear on roles and responsibilities, and know what to expect in a real recall
- identify any gaps or areas for improvement in your procedures
- demonstrate the importance of good traceability record-keeping to staff.
A successful simulated recall scenario should result in either:
- a consumer-level simulated recall, which involves simulating the process for removing affected product from the supply chain and communicating to consumers, or
- a trade-level simulated recall, which involves simulating the process for removing affected product from the food supply chain.
Who should be involved in a simulated recall?
You should aim to involve everyone in your in a simulated recall who would be involved in a real recall. This means senior staff, as well as staff involved with operations, marketing and communication, and sales and distribution.
How often you should do a simulated recall
From 1 July 2023, businesses with a plan or programme under the Food Act, Wine Act, or Animal Products Act, as well as importers and exporters, will need to carry out a simulated recall. Regulations will require this at least every 12 months after a simulated recall, or a genuine recall if that recall demonstrated the traceability and recall procedures to be effective.