Food Investigation Response Manual
Appendix 6A - Example Template - Letter to Public Health Agencies for Requesting Assistance for Conducting Recall Effectiveness Checks

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Street Address; City, Prov; Postal Code


Ministry of

Street Address; City, Prov; Postal Code

Attention: (Name of Contact)

RE: (Voluntary/Mandatory) RECALL OF (brand name, common name, size, lot code of affected product. Where there are several products, state a general description, e.g. Product type) BY (Name of Recalling Firm)

Dear (Name of Contact):

This letter will confirm our discussion held on (date), at which time the CFIA advised it is requesting the assistance of the space and the affected Local Boards of Health (LBH) in conducting recall effectiveness checks at (the accounts listed/independent retail stores/healthcare facilities/food premises) to verify the effectiveness of the above-mentioned recall. The CFIA is requesting your assistance because (of the widespread distribution of this product/because there have been a number of illnesses associated with this product/because there is an urgent need to remove this product from the market, etc. ). The CFIA will also be monitoring the effectiveness of the recall by conducting checks at (both chain and independent retail stores, distributors, etc. on the recalling firm's distribution list).

The following product(s) are affected:

(List - brand name, common name, size, lot code OR Please visit the following links to the CFIA website for a complete list of affected brands: English and French links) The details of the recall are as follows: Recall Classification: (1, or 2, with a Public Warning) Depth of Recall: (distributor, institutional, retail, consumer) Reason for Product Recall: (state the reason, e.g. undeclared milk protein, and the name of the legislation/regulation and section of the legislation/regulation violated, e.g. contravention of subsection 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act)

Please request inspectors to do the following:

  1. Conduct on-site visits to each of the (accounts listed/stores/facilities/food premises) to determine if they have received (the Notice of Recall from the recalling firm/any notification about the recall from their supplier) and have taken the prescribed action. On-site visit checks should be done according to the procedure outlined in the attached instructions. If the recalled product is being used against the directions provided (in the Notice of Recall/by their supplier), inspectors may request immediate compliance by the account(s). (If no distribution list is provided, include the following: Please note: As there is no specific distribution list of accounts to check, inspectors may be visiting accounts that may not have received any of the affected product).
  2. Record the information obtained on the Effectiveness Checks for Food Recall Recording form as per the attached instructions.
  3. If any deviations are encountered with the CFIA recall, (CFIA to insert applicable comments). It is considered a deviation if product is found offered for sale or notification was not received in any form from the (recalling firm/supplier). (If no distribution list is provided, include the following: Please provide the undersigned with the name of the account's supplier and the method of purchase, e.g. cash sale.)
  4. Upon completion of all recall effectiveness checks, please complete the Recall Effectiveness Checks Summary Report for each health unit.

Please confirm receipt of this request and advise me of the names of the LBHs that will be assisting the CFIA with this request and those that will not as soon as possible so that the CFIA can take appropriate action. (Due to the short shelf life of this type of product/urgency of this issue/extensive media coverage) please have this request initiated immediately and have as many (accounts/stores/facilities/food premises) as possible visited by (date). Should you wish to amend the CFIA request for assistance, please consult with the CFIA Area Recall Coordinator (ARC) prior to doing so.

You may recommend additional enforcement action to the LBHs to protect the health of the people. Should the additional enforcement action be beyond the CFIA's legal mandate or not deemed required by the CFIA, it is understood that you will act based on your legislative powers, identify the request as such, and answer any questions resulting from such action.

Please return all reporting forms (i.e. Effectiveness Checks for Food Recall recording forms and Recall Effectiveness Checks Summary Reports) by fax or e-mail to (the undersigned/designate) within (X) business days of (insert date as specified on page 2). Once all Recall Effectiveness Check recording forms are returned from all health units to the undersigned, feedback will be provided to you on the effectiveness of the recall.

If there are any questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned at space

Thank you for your assistance.
Name ARC Contact Information
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