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Plan to Survive


​A recall can happen to virtually any manufacturer – regardless of how much attention is devoted to the product, and a recall can devastate consumer confidence – the very key to a company’s success. Suddenly, illness, lawsuits and media inquiries may become a reality and require swift attention and thoughtful management that reduces risk and protect your business.​

In the food and beverage sector, companies are faced with ensuring the safety of their production continuously and vulnerability to recalls is constant. The risk of recall may be reduced through quality assurance but the potential is never eliminated – the security of your business depends on a sound recall plan.

A documented and practiced plan will help protect your customers while limiting your liability if the worst happens. It’s essential to reassure consumers, regulators, retailers, distributors – even bankers and insurers – that doing business with your company is a safe undertaking. Your recall plan will be specific to your organization’s needs, but it should include the following components:

  • Recall team. Identify the individuals and departments (for example, management, quality assurance, legal, and communications) who would be involved and outline their responsibilities.
  • Complaint process. A documented process identifies unsafe products and corrects problems. The process should encompass information gathering, investigation and taking appropriate action.
  • Food safety plan. A plan to address government policies and regulations that relates to safe food handling and manufacturing processes, and ways to keep food secure throughout the supply chain.
  • Traceability system. Track products from suppliers through processing and packaging to finished product and distribution. This is important for food and beverage processors that must limit the scope of a recall and facilitate the rapid removal of problem products from distribution.
  • Production records​. Determine the amount of product within or beyond the control of your organization by generating accurate distribution records with lot codes of each product produced.

Run simulations to ensure your recall plan works when needed and the team has been properly trained. If your company develops or changes – perhaps by adding new product lines or shifting into new markets, ensure your exercises and action protocol are also modernized to match your current business reality.

Remember: the potential for product recalls can’t be eliminated, but your business can survive. Ensure the safety of your customers and your business by communicating your plan to your employees and supply chain partners. Make your business the safety leader during a crisis, not a victim.

For more information, contact Glenn Fraser, Vice-President of Food & Ag Processing at 877.251.2922 or [email protected].