How to Accelerate Your Critical Food Recalls in Singapore with Powerful Fleet Data

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Because anything can happen between food production and delivery, food recalls can be quite common.

In a fast-paced city like Singapore, you need to ensure that your operations are as time-efficient as possible, keeping citizens safe and shelves clean.

Read on to find out how a fleet management system is the solution you need to make food recalls quick and effective.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what food recalls are
  • Delve into the importance of food recalls and how frequently they occur
  • Find out what challenges are faced in the food recall industry
  • Explore how a fleet management system is the solution to these challenges
  • Discover Cartrack’s fleet management system as your all-in-one solution

What are food recalls?

Food is a very sensitive product that can be easily contaminated during the delivery and production process. While great efforts are taken to ensure food gets to its destination in its freshest state, it can be unsafe for consumption from time to time. This is where the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) comes in, being responsible for ensuring that affected food products do not stay on shelves and cause any damage to consumers' health and well-being.

How common are food recalls?

Food recalls are actually more common than you think. Just two months ago, the SFA issued a recall on two ready-to-eat cured meat products for suspected salmonella contamination. In 2022, they also recalled batches of a popular Kinder Surprise chocolate egg that was linked to multiple cases of salmonella and Haagen-Dasz’s vanilla ice cream that contained trace amounts of ethylene oxide, causing sweet lovers to feel the pinch of not having their favourite ice cream.

What makes food recalls so important in Singapore?

About 90% of food in Singapore is imported, and these imports happen daily. While this makes the delivery of food products convenient, it also places them at risk of contamination. Food contamination can occur at any stage of the supply chain, making food recall an important part of keeping contaminated and unsafe food products away from consumers and ensuring there is no negative impact on the health and well-being of Singapore citizens.

Exploring the most common reasons for food recalls

The food industry is driven by mass production. And, while systems are in place to ensure that food remains safe for human consumption, things can still go wrong, leading to goods being recalled. Let’s look at the three most common reasons for food recalls:

  1. Foodborne pathogens: Pathogens (including viruses, fungi, and bacteria) such as salmonella, E.Coli, and listeria can lead to serious illnesses, especially amongst children and people with weakened immune systems.
  2. Undeclared allergens: Cross-contamination during food processing (the accidental transfer of harmful bacteria during production from one food to another) is an often-overlooked risk that can cause goods to contain allergens that shouldn’t be in them in the first place.
  3. Foreign objects in foods: Foreign objects such as plastic, glass, or metal can find their way into food products during the production process, which creates serious safety and health risks for consumers.

So, what happens when food needs to be recalled? There are a few guidelines that need to be followed, known as a standard recall procedure (SRP), which help ensure food recalls are efficient. Let’s find out more about this.

What are the guidelines to follow for food recalls?

When it comes to food recalls, there is a general procedure that must be followed. Let’s look at the standard recall procedure (SRP) for imported food products, which includes meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, and processed foods. 

Step 1: If it is a voluntary recall, inform SFA of the problem.

Step 2: Get all relevant information about the food product.

Step 3: Stop the sale and distribution of the food product.

Step 4: Inform all relevant business parties, including the public, retailers, and food industry organisations.

Step 5: Remove the product from shelves .

Sounds like five simple steps to follow, right? Unfortunately, like any process, they are accompanied by some challenges that can impact the overall efficiency of food recalls. The first step in overcoming them is to identify them.


What challenges are faced in the food recall process?

Food recalling is a unique industry with equally unique challenges. These need to be tackled to guarantee a seamless approach to food recalls. Let’s explore these challenges, and the impact they have on the efficiency of your food recalls. 

  • Time constraints:

    According to 2022 numbers, Singapore has over 670 supermarkets, making time an important aspect of food recalls. Businesses must quickly identify and remove harmful foods from shelves before consumers unknowingly buy the contaminated goods, which could potentially cause more harm in the form of illnesses and adverse reactions.
  • Communication:

    Food recalls need to happen as quickly as possible, and the only way this can happen is if drivers and managers are on top of their communication game. Without the right structures and technology in place, managers have to manually call their drivers to find out where they are and how long it will take them to complete the recall. This time-consuming process that can harm the effectiveness of a food recall operation.
  • Real-time tracking of vehicles:

    Food recalls go beyond removing contaminated food from shelves; it is important to know the source of the contamination. Singapore relies on imported foods, which can make tracking this a bit of a challenge. If the source of the problem is not quickly pinpointed, contaminated foods will become a common occurrence.
  • Coordination of recall vehicles:

    All groups involved must work closely together for the food recall process to be as smooth and quick as possible. This means the SFA, food importers, food distributors, the stores that sell these foods, and the customers who purchase the food need to all pull their weight. Otherwise, the process becomes time-consuming and potentially dangerous.

The first key to success in the food recall process is knowing the potential challenges. These challenges stack up like full shelves of goods, and if not handled, they can cause the entire food recall process to topple over. So what is the solution to these challenges? 

You guessed it, it’s a fleet management system.

What is fleet management in the context of food recalls?

The food industry is a fast-paced world with millions of consumers. This makes safety a priority that a fleet management system can make easier to handle. Think of it as your digital base, helping you track all your fleet vehicles and key metrics relating to them (such as real-time location, driver behaviour, fuel consumption, and maintenance) with the tap of a button or screen. These data insights play a crucial role in speeding up your food recall operation and making it as efficient as possible. If you’re ready to put customer safety first while also keeping your fleet safe, then a fleet management system is just what the fleet doctor ordered. Let’s see exactly how it can help with food recalls.

What can a fleet management system do for a food recall business?

A fleet management system is crucial in ensuring that food recalls are as fast-paced as the food industry itself. Here’s how it works:

1. Real-time tracking:

One of a fleet management system’s greatest features is real-time tracking, helping you know where all your vehicles are at all times. Being able to do this takes the guessing game out of food recalls, as this helps you know exactly which vehicles are transporting contaminated stock. This information helps with routing, ensuring that your uncontaminated supply doesn’t come into contact with contaminated goods, which is costly and leads to unnecessary waste.

2. Preventative vehicle maintenance:

Food recalls are time-sensitive, so the last thing you want to experience is unplanned vehicle downtime. Unplanned vehicle downtime in this industry means goods aren’t recalled on time, increasing the risk of consumers unknowingly consuming the contaminated food.

A fleet management system can continuously monitor the health of your vehicles and their various components, such as engine or brake pad health. This information helps you schedule preventative maintenance, ensuring that maintenance issues are attended to before they become costly and potentially dangerous.

3. Improved manager-driver communication:

Communication is a vital part of any successful operation, especially time-sensitive ones. Fleet management enables real-time communication between fleet managers and drivers without either of them having to make a phone call. This means managers can quickly view and update information on the recall process based on driver availability and location.

A fleet management system is a food recall operation’s secret weapon to success and efficiency. This technology may sound a bit far-fetched, but it’s actually closer to home than you know. The solution you need is Cartrack.


Speed up your food recall operation with Cartrack’s fleet management system

Streamline your business today with our tech-savvy, one-stop solution. Cartrack’s fleet management solution brings you a wide range of technology to make your food recall business as efficient as possible:

  1. GPS tracking:

    Keep an eye on your food recall vehicles at all times with Cartrack’s real-time tracking. This world-class technology gives you access to real-time GPS vehicle monitoring and tracking, helping you know each vehicle's location, speed, and direction. What’s more incredible is that all this information can be accessed via your phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. Talk about endless possibilities through unparalleled insights, right?
  2. Preventative maintenance

    Say goodbye to costly unplanned downtime and say hello to a long-lasting food recall fleet with Cartrack’s preventative maintenance. This next-level software monitors various aspects of your vehicle's health and sends real-time alerts when a mechanical issue is detected. Not only that, but our maintenance scheduling tool adapts your maintenance plan to your fleet’s needs, ensuring less downtime. This helps you to quickly attend to the issue before it becomes costly and irreparable, delaying your food recall schedule.
  3. Cartrack Delivery/Field Service:

    Simplify task assignment and unlock timely deliveries with Cartrack’s Delivery software. Designed to optimise delivery operations for drivers and fleet managers, this advanced solution gives you real-time access to all your drivers and their trips. This simplifies job assignment as it is based on real-time driver availability and their estimated job completion times.
  4. Route optimisation:

    Use Cartrack’s route optimisation to efficiently order your drivers’ food recall tasks. This feature is available through our Delivery app and adapts to any navigation system (Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc.). This specialised software automatically optimises task ordering to streamline your workflow.
  5. Geofencing:

    Know exactly when your drivers enter or exit a predetermined virtual boundary with Cartrack’s geofencing feature. You can set up geofences around specific locations, such as warehouses or delivery drop-off locations, which gives you more visibility of vehicle activity. This also helps ensure your drivers remain on schedule with their food recall tasks.

Add speed and efficiency into the equation of food recalls

Singapore is a fast-paced city where citizens are constantly on the move. Food recalls need to be streamlined to lessen the chances of contaminated items entering supermarkets or convenience stores and being grabbed by unsuspecting consumers.

Click here, and let’s make your food recall business fast and effective with Cartrack’s solutions.

The food recall industry is fast-paced, and without the right solutions, your business can get left behind. Discover how to speed up your operations.