FWD takes lead in guiding wholesalers through crisis

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors was quick out of the blocks to alert members and non-members about the Sudan 1 in Worcester Sauce emergency. The Federation of Wholesale Distributors was quick out of the blocks to alert members and non-members about the Sudan 1 in Worcester Sauce emergency.

Every corner of the industry was alerted as early as Wednesday, February 16, when it became known that the Food Standards Agency was discussing the issue.

FWD and Defra were in contact on the recall process for cash and carry and delivered wholesalers and a further alert was issued by FWD the following day.

In an email to the industry, wholesalers were told that “this is the biggest incident of its kind in recent times”. More information was circulated to members and non-members on Friday, February 18.

Alan Toft, director general of FWD, said: “The contamination which originated at Premier Foods involving its Worcester Sauce, was under wraps until the 18th when Defra and FWD discussed the most efficient way in which the total wholesale industry could be alerted through our offices.

“This was a case in which we extended our service to wholesalers who are not members of the Federation.
We are the senior body in the industry and we carry this responsibility with integrity.”

The vast majority of affected products were supermarket own brand ready meals, with very few wholesale own brand products having to be withdrawn.

Booker had to withdraw one Happy Shopper product and three Chef’s Larder lines, and 3663 and Brakes also had to withdraw a handful of own label products.

Booker marketing director Mark Collier, said: “Booker has written to thousands of customers informing them of the product recall and advising them of what to do with any affected products. This included a poster to inform consumers of the recall.”

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