ARLINGTON, VA. — Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service designed to enable prompt and accurate information exchange between retailers/wholesalers and suppliers about food and product recalls and withdrawals, was recently launched, announced the Food Marketing Institute and GS1 US. It replaces an existing recall system, the Product Recall Portal, by improving ease of use and adding significant capabilities, according to a news release.

"Rapid Recall Exchange represents industry consensus that a standardized product recall system is critical to enhancing effective communication. It is a system designed by the industry and for the industry, which applies best practices and critical insight and expertise from industry partners and associations," said Leslie G. Sarasin, F.M.I president and chief executive officer.

This will benefit the public as well as the companies that use it, said Bob Carpenter, chief executive officer of GS1 US. "It employs the same GS1 global standards that these companies already use to identify their products, stock their shelves, and accelerate checkouts," he added. "Its ease of use and extensive functionality can improve the speed and accuracy of recalls, which we all want."

Rapid Recall Exchange complements existing recall practices, complies with the requirements of the FDA Reportable Food Registry, and features: Secure user-authentication; two-way messaging between trading partners; Internet access anywhere, anytime; e-mail alerts about new information’ comprehensive, prioritized information with U.P.C. bar codes and product images for easy identification; verification of notification; universal notification of Class 1 recalls; targeted notification to specific customers; consistent, reliable communications; and standardized forms, processes and instructions applying industry best practices.

Suppliers are also to send targeted information to retailers and wholesalers to provide specific information on how to remove recalled or withdrawn products and handle them safely, as well as address reimbursement requirements.

Rapid Recall Exchange is supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and National Grocers Association.

Companies already participating in the FMI Product Recall Portal will automatically receive Rapid Recall Exchange subscriptions. The current subscriber list includes eight wholesalers, 45 retailers (representing 157 banners, 11,076 stores and more than $209 billion in sales) and 40 manufacturers (representing more than $300 billion in annual revenues).

Rapid Recall Exchange is available for a nominal fee to cover operating expenses. To encourage quick and widespread adoption of the system, FMI and GS1 US are offering free trial subscriptions to retailers and wholesalers that sign up by Oct. 30. The trial period runs through Dec. 31. Click

here for more information.