CINCINNATI – The Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, has endorsed the Rapid Recall Exchange, an online service that standardizes and accelerates food and product recalls and withdrawals. Kroger will be the first national retail chain to encourage its suppliers to subscribe to this industry-leading program.

Developed by GS1 US in collaboration with the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Rapid Recall Exchange is the industry's only online standardized recall notification system. Using consistent forms and processes, retailers receive the same complete information, including product images and handling instructions, when a recall is issued.

"Using Rapid Recall Exchange provides Kroger with timely and accurate recall data,” said Dr. Payton Pruett, vice president of corporate food safety for Kroger. “The need for speed is crucial in recall situations and this will help us be more efficient in removing recalled product from our shelves and communicating with our customers about recalls,"

Kroger is asking all suppliers to subscribe by July 1, 2010. Suppliers using the Rapid Recall Exchange can provide all critical recall information in one communication – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – quickly alerting retailers. This enables retailers like Kroger to quickly remove recalled products and reach out to customers about recalls.

Using its customer loyalty database, Kroger is currently able to notify customers of recalls by phone, using register receipts. Kroger has a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week process in place to coordinate recalls, and works quickly and effectively to remove from sale products that have been recalled or withdrawn.