Recall affects everyone in the facility including the HUB Owner, participants, and product reputation. An effective measure of the Hub’s food safety record and compliance is to monitor customer complaints that the Hub Users receive.

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> Policy
> Standard Operating Procedures
> Records

Challenges and Responsibilities

Challenges and Responsibilities

  • The primary responsibility for addressing specific product complaints or comments is that of the HUB User as it would pertain to their products.

  • Secondary responsibility for addressing product food safety complaints would also involve the HUB Management. This would occur if there were multiple HUB Users that have suspect product produced around the same period or the same cause or risk that could be generated within the Food Hub. A coordination role by the HUB Management may be required to bring multiple HUB Users together to investigate the cause and develop corrective actions.

  • Complaints should be investigated from the perspective of gaining understanding of a potential problem either originating at the product development stage, (the customer doesn’t Like the product), the processing stages that span from the ingredients through processing to packaging and distribution, and a noted reduction in the shelf life.

  • A consumer comment, whether positive or negative should be taken seriously to ensure communicating with the consumer is professional and investigative to identify the potential cause and corrective actions.

  • Investigating and recording the notes and comments from the consumer interaction as well as investigating and reviewing production records or purchasing and supplier records, ensuring the product is actually that specific HUB Users, by requesting a copy (photo preferably) of the product if the product has not been returned comprise of normal investigative actions to define the potential causes.

  • The SOP for handling Consumer comments/complaints is essential for all HUB Users to understand and implement as part of their basic knowledge of food production and customer service. The types of complaints should be rated by food safety risk and defining if involvement of regulatory agencies is required.

  • To foster the collaborative and communications between the HUB Management and HUB Users, a regular reporting of Consumer concerns and recalls (including product withdrawals that are not based on food safety risk) should be provided to the HUB Users as educational and as exercises of response. Exchanging experiences and actions taken as well as feedback from the consumer when the issue is resolved will encourage non-judgmental discussions to permit a unified response if a food recall is required by one or many of the HUB Users.

  • Regulatory agencies prefer a clear, concise but thorough response comprising of relevant information to perform an effective investigation and recall of product, if necessary. This type of action also protects the consumers and provides trust in the Food Hub as a collective of conscientious food processors.

Recommendations for Success

  • The HUB User and HUB Management should participate in regular open communication on issues such as unsanitary equipment, improper storage procedures, and other members’ actions.

  • A collaborative and responsive level of communication must be developed to tackle potentially sensitive issues as well as encouraging and instilling confidentiality and mutual trust.

Document list

Document list

The documents below are for your HUB use. You may use them as complete (pdf) or modify them to suit your needs as required (Word).


  • HUB.R.POL.89 Recall Policy Plan  pdfWord

Standard Operating Procedures

  • HUB.R.SOP.90 Customer Complaint SOP  pdfWord
  • HUB.R.SOP.91 Recall SOP  pdfWord


  • HUB.R.REC.93 Recall Forms and Records  pdf | Word
  • HUB.R.REC.99 Customer Complaint Form  pdf | Word