Archive

Archive for the ‘Food Recalls’ Category

KGO-TV Report: Wireless Technology Helping Keep Food Safe (via intelleflex)

KGO recently reported on using RFID to maintain cold chain integrity and trace produce from the farm to the retailer.   RFID will likely continue to grow in popularity for food safety risk management.

Now you can see Intelleflex in action.  KGO-TV, the San Francisco ABC affiliate, addressed how wireless RFID technology from Intelleflex is helping to reduce cold chain spoilage.  KGO’s technology news reporter Richard Hart featured Intelleflex in his story about the perishable food and pharmaceutical cold chain.  You can watch the video here.  Richard describes the cost of spoilage and how temperature monitoring can improve cold chain operations … Read More

via intelleflex

Food Recall Risk Management: Plan Ahead to Minimize Litigation Risks

February 3, 2011 3 comments

The latest reminder that restaurants and grocers can benefit from implementing food recall risk management plans: two customers of Safeway grocery stores filed a class-action lawsuit contending that store should have used Safeway Club Card contact information to notify consumers sooner about recalled food they purchased.

The lawsuit does not contend that the plaintiffs suffered any illness.  However, plaintiffs apparently request that Safeway implement a system to notify Club Card customers of food recalls sooner.  It also apparently requests that Safeway refund its customers the cost of the recalled food purchased.  (Note: plaintiffs did not need to sue Safeway to get their money backThe company’s website notes that customers may return recalled products to their local store for a full refund.)

Just two days ago, I noted that some stores were still selling contaminated food after a recall, and that they could lower their liability risks by signing up for free recall notifications.  (Here, apparently the plaintiffs purchased their food before it was recalled; at this time I am not aware of any allegation that Safeway sold recalled food.)  However, Costco took the next step, and at least two years ago, it started telephoning its members about food recalls for previously-purchased items.

Although no known authority (under California or federal law) requires a store to use loyalty card contact information to notify customers of recalls by phone or email, as the capability to warn customers about recalled food expands, so will customers’ expectations.  Why wait until your company is a defendant facing trial in a court of law (or the court of public opinion) to try and minimize the risk of litigation?

Thankfully, the lawsuit against Safeway does not claim that anyone suffered injury, but one in six Americans suffers food poisoning every year, and about 3,000 die from it.  The more your company can show it implemented best practices to minimize the risk of personal injury, the less likely a jury (or the public) will find it did something wrong.

My Company Only Manufactures Pet Food; Is a (Costly) Recall Necessary Due to a Risk to People?

February 2, 2011 1 comment

Pet food manufacturers need to plan proactively to prevent food recalls, too.  Even if people are not on the dog food diet, they may be exposed to salmonella by handling contaminated pet food products.  The moral of the story for (pet) food processing companies: although people should wash their hands more often, it’s often less expensive to produce a pathogen-free product than to incur expenses for a costly recall after discovering contamination.

Why are Some Stores Still Selling Contaminated Food a Week After It’s been Recalled?

February 1, 2011 1 comment

Why are some stores still selling a contaminated foodweek after it’s been recalled?  Perhaps they have not signed up for FDA email notifications re: product recalls.  This fast and free service will help your food processing company, restaurant, or retail store stay up-to-date about foods they use, serve, or sell and lower the risk of, e.g., selling salsa containing cilantro that may be contaminated with salmonella.

Allergy Alert Email Notices: Stay Informed Re: Contaminated Foods!

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network provides a form where you can sign up to receive email notifications about manufacturers recalling foods that may contain undisclosed allergens.  Notices pertain to the top eight food allergens.

Most Ironic Food Recall of 2011 Expands

January 28, 2011 1 comment

The company that makes Toxic Waste candy that was recalled for excessive lead content has now expanded the recall to include some of its “Nuclear Sludge” candies sold since 2009.  How much of this has already been eaten?  One significant problem with food recalls is the lag time between the time of sale and the time of the recall, as people have likely consumed some of the recalled product.

Food Recall: Is Your Restaurant Prepared?

Here is a link to my December 2010 article in the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals E-Zine regarding the importance of restaurants using food recall risk management practices.

Most Ironic Food Recall of 2011

January 26, 2011 1 comment

The makers of “Toxic Waste” candy are recalling their “Nuclear Sludge” bars, because they contain excessive lead.

Perhaps this candy is a bit too “hazardously sour”?  It’s not currently listed for sale on the company’s website.