Retailers Eye Recall Proposal

Retailers are seeking to maintain flexibility in how they notify customers about product recalls as new food-safety legislation is expected to hit the floor of the Senate as soon as this week. A proposal being advocated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., seeks to mandate a uniform method of customer notification at the checkout lanes for all Class I product recalls. We are a little concerned

WASHINGTON — Retailers are seeking to maintain flexibility in how they notify customers about product recalls as new food-safety legislation is expected to hit the floor of the Senate as soon as this week.

A proposal being advocated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., seeks to mandate a uniform method of customer notification at the checkout lanes for all Class I product recalls.

“We are a little concerned — not about notification, because that is something we think our customers ought to be able to have — but we do think there ought to be flexibility in how the notification is made available to customers, because what works in one store might not be the best thing for another store,” Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute, told SN last week. “It's a busy place at the cash register — What we are hoping is that we can gain some flexibility as to how that notification is done within each store. That's a big thing we are focusing on right now.”

The bill, S. 510, or the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act, has been sidelined by other issues, including health care reform. A House version of the bill, which seeks to strengthen the FDA, passed last year.