With the recent recall scares to Blue Bell Creameries and to Sabra’s hummus for listeria contamination, one can only think about the cost involved (both product & legal) in the recall process, and how well prepared your business is if a product recall should happen.
With a possible product recall only a phone call away, no amount of safe years can guarantee you won’t have one tomorrow! Blue Bell had a clean sheet for 108 years (according to the Dallas Morning News) and is now in the process of a product recall that has early estimates of between 4 and 10 million in product costs alone. Add in the damage done to their brand, pending lawsuits, and that figure will surely rise quickly!
With Sabra, 30 thousand cases of hummus (according to The Guardian) have been voluntarily pulled from the shelves representing an enormous recall cost, replacement cost, and damage to their brand.
Large product recalls are a threat to any manufacturer and forces you to ask the questions:
- How ready are we? For that one phone call that turns into two, that turns into a full blown product recall.
- Do we have a recall procedure in place? So we can quickly recognize that a recall is needed.
- Are we using the latest technology to track inventory? So we know exactly which products are affected and their current location.
- Have we practiced our recall procedures? So we can act quickly and efficiently when a recall knocks on our door!
Thinking ahead, the only solution!
Relying on a clean track record is not a reliable game plan in the long run. It’s important to study industry best practices for Product Recall Management and RFID for inventory control, learn from recent product recalls by following the FDA or blogs like foodsafetynews.com, and frequently audit current processes to make sure you are in the best possible position should it happen to you.
To learn more about best practices for food safety and product recalls, have a look at these free resources: