LAKELAND, Fla. — By participating in the GS1 Rapid Recall Exchange industry portal, Publix Super Markets  here is been able to cut its response time to product recalls by 90%, said Michael Roberson, Publix's director of corporate quality assurance.
"The No. 1 benefit of the Rapid Recall Exchange has been the response time," he said yesterday during an SN-hosted webinar, "Expediting Recalls via the Rapid Recall Exchange," sponsored by GS1 US, Lawrenceville, N.J. Through the exchange, manufacturers are able to provide all the critical fields — such as photographs and product destination — "necessary to properly communicate a recall out to our business units."
Under alternative recall communication methods, he added, Publix might need to "go back and forth multiple times via email or phone with the recalling firm."
After disseminating recall information to its business units, including stores, warehouses and manufacturing facilities, Publix is able to view "who has received and opened recall information," said Roberson. The chain can also determine how many units of recalled product are on hand at every location. Employees are expected to respond within an hour to recall notifications.
Launched in September 2009 by the Food Marketing Institute and GS1 US, the Rapid Recall Exchange has signed up more than 600 manufacturer and retailer subscribers.