(TORONTO) – Retail Council of Canada (RCC) supports the recommendations of the Independent Review of XL Foods Inc. Beef Recall Panel and welcomes the report as part of the government’s efforts to continually improve Canada’s food safety system.
In March, 2013 RCC and its grocery members spent a day with the expert panel discussi ng ways to improve how recalls are managed in Canada. “Canada has one of the best food safety systems in the world however there is always opportunity to improve. We will work in partnership with the Government to ensure that we maintain our high standard s and to ensure food safety for consumers,” said David Wilkes, Senior Vice President, RCC.
In its discussion with the Panel, RCC and its members raised the need for better collaboration and sharing of information with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ( CFIA) so that retailers are better equipped to manage events such as the XL Foods Inc. Beef recall. “We were very pleased to see many of our suggestions, such as a more transparent communication with the agency, included in the Panel’s recommendations rel ating to the strengthening of incident management and recall response,” said Wilkes.
Grocery retailers in Canada are responsible for ensuring that recalled products are removed immediately from store shelves to minimize food safety concerns for consumers. As Mr. Wilkes explained, “All of our members have their own rapid response teams that are trained and ready to manage food safety events. In the case of the XL Beef recall, the system already in place by our members worked and the product was removed within hours of learning about the specific products affected .” RCC's ability to communicate the clear and timely information with its members is key to ensuring that grocery response teams can initiate proper recall procedures within their companies.
Wilke s concluded by saying, “We look forward to collaborating with the government to address the Panel’s recommendations.”
Retail Council of Canada ( www.retailcouncil.org ) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, R CC is a not - for - profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.