(1) A recall is an establishment's voluntary action to remove product from commerce to protect the public from consuming adulterated or misbranded products.
(2) Each establishment inspected by the department must have a recall plan that will be implemented whenever the establishment suspects that it has produced and put into commerce adulterated or misbranded product.
(3) Recalls are initiated by the manufacturer or distributor of the meat or poultry. These establishments must notify the department within 24 hours of the establishment's decision to conduct a recall.
(4) The department will coordinate with the establishment initiating the recall to ensure the product has been properly identified and removed from commerce.
(5) If the department has reason to believe adulterated or misbranded product has entered commerce and no recall has been initiated, or if an establishment requests assistance determining whether a recall is necessary, the department will:
(a) conduct a preliminary investigation, which may include some or all of the following steps:
(i) contacting the manufacturer of the food for more information;
(ii) interviewing consumers who allegedly became ill or injured from eating the suspect food;
(iii) collecting and analyzing food samples;
(iv) collecting and verifying information about the suspected food;
(v) discussing the situation with departmental field inspection and compliance personnel;
(vi) contacting State and local health departments; and
(vii) documenting a chronology of events; and
(b) convene a recall committee using the following process:
(i) the recall committee will review available information and make a consensus recommendation about the need for a recall; and
(ii) the recall committee will consist of five to seven members representing the following types of individuals:
(A) meat science specialist, who may be retained from an appropriate entity outside of the department;
(B) microbiologist, who may be retained from an appropriate entity outside of the department;
(C) Board of Livestock member or the department's executive officer;
(D) The department's Animal Health and Food Safety Division administrator or chief meat inspector; and
(E) Meat and Poultry Inspection Bureau enforcement, investigations, and analysis officer or equivalent; and
(iii) if the recall committee recommends a product recall, the committee will prepare a report to be sent to the establishment confirming the evaluation of the hazard, the scope of the recall, the area of distribution, and the department's understanding of the establishment's recall strategy.
(6) After the committee recommends a recall, the establishment has 48 hours to declare its intent to accept or deny the recommendation in writing to the department's chief meat inspector.
(7) If an establishment refuses to recall a product following the recommendation of the committee, the department may notify the public of the refusal to conduct a recall and may detain or retain affected products.
(8) The department will notify the public of any recall or detention of state inspected meat and poultry food products and conduct effectiveness checks.
(9) If a recall is not recommended because no affected products remain in commerce but a potential health risk to consumers exists from products that may still be in the consumers' possession, or from products which are unaccounted for, the department may notify the public of that risk through a public health alert.
(10) All public notifications from the department concerning recalled products, products that an establishment chooses not to recall, and products that are not subject to recall but that may pose a potential health risk will include the name of the producing establishment, the official establishment number, the name of the product, and any other available identifying information such as lot numbers, production dates, or use-by dates.