Product recalls can cost companies hundreds, thousands, and even millions of pounds, and every year the Food Standards Agency lists hundreds of product recalls. FoodChain ID Certification’s food law consultant Mike Law explains the important on ensuring you are prepared for if your product is on the list.
The key to surviving a product recall is to have procedures in place, and to react swiftly. “If something does go wrong, the key is not to panic,” says food law consultant, Mike Law.
“When a crisis hits, first establish what has gone wrong – is it a safety issue or a quality issue? Or both?
“Once you have gathered all the evidence to help establish what kind of measures need to be put in place – have there been any complaints or are there lab results to verify this? The next step is to assemble the best people to take on the task.
“This could include technical, senior management, HR and logistics [staff] as well as your communications team. It is important at this stage to give clear task allocations and ensure everyone knows their role.
“You are likely to face criticism and questioning, which may be through official news channels or from customers on social media.
“It is important to cover this critical area of brand reputation during a crisis, as well as dealing with any legal and technical implications. Once you have these plans in place, it will be over to you to manage the crisis in a planned and orderly way to minimise the risk both to your reputation and business.”
Savvy companies work on the basis that an incident will occur at some point, and set out to have plans in place ready to be rolled out instantly. FoodChain Europe undertakes food incident training programmes that can help.
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