Creating a Recall-Ready Community: Webinar Key Takeaways

November 10, 2020

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs

Our industry must be ready and responsive on the rare occasions a product recall or withdrawal is needed to protect consumers, and brand and retailer reputations.

Creating a recall-ready community helps protect consumers, brands and retailers by ensuring that grocers and their suppliers are ready and responsive if or when the time comes.

NGA and Recall InfoLink recently hosted a webinar to help partners assess their readiness to manage a recall and capability to systemically communicate all needed information.

Leading the discussion was Roger Hancock, president and CEO of Recall InfoLink, joined by colleagues Jim Flannery, industry expert collaborator at Recall InfoLink, and Stephanie Weinand, the company’s global development manager.

Brands are built on trust, Hancock noted, so industry operators must ensure their products live up to consumer expectations for performance and safety.

The average manufacturer, producer or supplier manages a product recall perhaps once every three years. “The problem is, they’re not always prepared to go through that recall,” Hancock said, noting that, as a result, recalls are often handled as a crisis rather than a process.

On the other hand, retailers may have to manage up to two recalls per week, he said, making it important for suppliers to “systemically and consistently get the information to the retailer in the way they need to see it.”

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

Turn crisis management into a process. Communicate the facts from a single source, so every impacted retailer, wholesaler or distributor gets the information in a standard format.

Be ready before things go wrong. Modernize mock recalls, from a focus on issue identification and tracking, to message management, customer notification and response. Leverage GS1 product recall standards to provide actionable, standardized information to customers so they take the action needed to protect your brand and the public.

Your mock recall checklist should provide a clear, step-by-step process that includes the following: training materials, templates and support; automatic reminders; a guided post-event evaluation; workflow that’s identical to a recall event; and responders participating as well.

You can’t be too prepared. Internally collect needed recall information: item, reason, impacted retailers, disposition instructions, etc. With that information entered into Recall InfoLink’s GS1 standards-based system, impacted retailers receive notification in the most useful format.

To view this complete webinar and others in the series, visit