Responsibilities for food rest with both food and feed business operators.
2 Food Business Operators
The responsibilities of a food business operator are set out in Article 19. Where a food business operator considers or has reason to believe that a food which it has imported, produced, processed, manufactured or distributed is not in compliance with the food safety requirements, the food business operator shall immediately initiate procedures to withdraw the food in question from the market where the food has left the immediate control of that initial food business operator and inform the local authority and the Food Standards Agency which are the competent authorities.
Where a food business operator considers or has reason to believe that a food which it has placed on the market may be injurious to human health the competent authorities must be informed immediately along with details of action taken to protect the final consumer.
If food that does not meet food safety requirements has not left the immediate control of the initial food business operator, removal of the food from the food chain does not constitute a withdrawal and there is no requirement to notify the competent authorities.
Where the product may have reached the consumer, the food business operator must effectively and accurately inform consumers of the reason for its withdrawal, and if necessary, recall from consumers products already supplied to them when other measures are not sufficient to achieve a high level of health protection.
A food business operator responsible for retail or distribution activities which do not affect the packaging, labelling, safety or integrity of the food must initiate procedures to withdraw from the market products not in compliance with the food-safety requirements and must pass on relevant information necessary to trace a food, and co-operate in the action taken by producers, processors, manufacturers and the competent authorities.1
Article 19(4) provides for a general obligation on food business operators to co-operate with the competent authorities to avoid or reduce risks posed by a food they supply or have supplied.
3 Feed Business Operators
Article 20 makes similar provision in relation to feed as Article 19 does for food, but with a number of important differences:
The feed, and where Article 15(3) applies, the batch, lot or consignment from which the feed came, must also be destroyed unless the competent authority is satisfied otherwise.
Feed business operators must withdraw and notify unsafe feed placed on the market where it is still under their immediate control.
The duty to inform and prevent the obstruction of competent authorities over potential health risks extends to all feed that may not satisfy the feed safety requirements, not just feed which may be injurious to health.
The general obligation under Article 20(4) on feed business operators to co-operate with the competent authorities relates to action to avoid, and not reduce, risks posed by a feed they supply or have supplied.