In the food and beverage industry, brand equity is imperative to an organization’s success. A recall is one of the most devastating things that can happen to any organization within this industry. Added to the cost to consumers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are regulatory issues and negative customer reactions to address, as well as the possible effect on market share to consider.
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Explore this issueFebruary/March 2010
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Recently, publicity has increased surrounding recalls of products like peanut butter, spinach, and pet food. Companies must establish measures to effectively mitigate recall risk, or, if a recall is necessary, to manage the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Fortunately, companies can employ several methods to lower their recall risk, including proactive measures such as implementing food safety initiatives to enhance quality and safety in the production process and adopting technology solutions such as a quality management system (QMS).
Proactively Mitigating Recall Risk
Clearly, preventing a recall is better than conducting one. Incorporating safety and quality into food manufacturing lowers the overall recall risk. Food safety processes such as hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and initiatives such as Safe Quality Food (SQF), International Food Standard (IFS), and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have been established to ensure that safety practices are followed and the safest possible food is produced.
In the unfortunate event of a recall, an organization must react immediately by following the best practices of recall management; it must have an established plan so that there is no question about the course of action and who must be involved in each step. Conducting a mock recall is one way to ensure that all processes are still effective.