Product Recall

RQA Group are the leading providers of product recall advice and planning, product recall training and product recall simulations.

This is supported by our extensive experience in managing and advising on actual product recall incidents. We have responded to over 1000 product recall incidents in the last ten years.

Product recall incident support

RQA provides product recall advice to clients who are facing possible product recall or withdrawal situations. You have access to expert product recall advice from RQA specialist consultants. Whether you require detailed support or just want to check your plan of action with a product recall specialist, please give us a call.

Experience in developing relevant, practical product recall plans, and recall simulation exercises

Product Recall Planning

Our consultants will work with you to develop your product recall plan. Depending upon company size and structure, this will usually involve a specialist product recall consultant visiting your office or site to discuss the product recall planning process and then going through key elements of the product recall plan. If time is available, the consultant will start to prepare draft sections of the product recall plan during the day. Afterwards the RQA consultant will compile the information into a draft product recall plan for you to finalise.

RQA will also carry out a desk top review of your existing product recall plans and provide a report highlighting recommendations for further development based upon best practice and RQA experience.

Product Recall Training

Once the product recall plan is prepared your product recall team will need to be trained. RQA will customise the course to your business and your product recall plans.

Our courses are delivered by specialist product recall consultants. Product recall training is also a requirement for compliance with most retailer standards. In addition to our Level 1 Product Recall training course, we also provide a Level 2 course in “recall and reputation” focusing more on risk assessment, communication and reputational aspects. You may also want to consider our course on “Social Media and crisis management”.

Product recall simulation
It is a requirement of BRC and other retailer standards that you undergo a product recall simulation each year. This is not a traceability exercise but is a scenario-based run through to test procedures and team. RQA develop scenarios based upon our experience in real incidents to fully challenge your team and ensure you get maximum benefit from the exercise.

• RQA consultant will develop a suitable “incident scenario” based around your products & business
• The RQA consultant will be on your site to facilitate and guide the exercise
• The RQA consultant will “call” your company as consumers or retail customers with complaints
• Additional “calls” will be made by the RQA consultant acting as government authorities or media
• A range of “injects” are provided to the team to escalate the seriousness of the issue
• Recall Team will be required to manage the incident according to their procedures and best practice

A full report on the exercise is prepared, including observations on how the team reacted to the challenge and providing additional recommendations for continuous improvements to the procedures ?and response as required.

A full report on the exercise is prepared, including observations on how the team reacted to the challenge and providing additional recommendations for continuous improvements to the procedures ?and response as required.

The RQA product recall simulation is designed to be a realistic test of procedures and recall team and the best challenge outside an actual product incident.

Note: ?All communications are kept internally – no contact with outside parties is made.
For details on all RQA’s product recall training courses and simulations, go to

Product Traceability

Mock traceability – traceability challenge
RQA consultants carry out mock traceability exercises to test company’s traceability capability and provide reassurance that the systems are effective and fit for purpose; identifying gaps and providing compliance with audit requirements.

The process is as follows:
RQA will source a product code / batch code of one of your products from a retail outlet. We will work with one of your team to select an appropriate product. The relevant manufacturing site will collate data based upon that code. The following are examples of data that will be collected.

1. Product code
2. Product Type
3. Product Ingredients
4. Trace history of product code from final retail pack back to primary ingredients (whilst within client control)
5. Listing of movements of product (where/when) to include other factories/processors/co-packers etc.
6. Relevant pallet codes, outer case codes
7. Suppliers of all ingredients (including packaging)
8. Volumes produced with the Product Code
9. Product reconciliation – how much produced and where is it now?
10. % reconciliation
11. Volumes produced in previous week/month
12. Identify two other products which have used some ingredients from the product selected.

This is not an exhaustive list and it may be revised after subsequent discussion with the client. This can be done whilst the consultant is on site, or it can be done remotely. In the latter case, the factory will be asked to fax/e-mail the traceability data to RQA at 2 hourly intervals up to a maximum of 8 hours. The target for obtaining this information will be 4 hours but to ensure as much information as possible is captured, 8 hours will be allowed.

All data and information will be collated into a final report which can provide individual factory overviews as well as summary tables covering multiple factories in a group. The mock traceability exercise and report will help to demonstrate compliance with traceability requirements in audits.