It is amazing the effect that a poorly written and executed recall plan can have on the credibility of a business. One of the world’s most popular brands is under the spot light after failing to notify the New Zealand Food Safety Authority that they had a problem.
Coca-Cola had been receiving customer complaints relating to white mould in its “Pumped” branded flavoured water since December 2010. It has been reported by New Zealand media that seventy-six (76) people had complained about the water with eleven (11) of those reporting experiencing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Concern has been raised by the Authority around the time it took for Coca Cola to notify the issues they were having. A trade recall was initiated by the company back in December with full distribution stopped in January 2011. It was not until further complaints were received in February 2011 that notification to the Authority was made. Even then, it was not the company that notified but a marketing company who alerted government.
The basis of every product recall plan should be the action of notification. This particular recall has shown that particular elements of the recall process were not followed by Coca-Cola. Several other deficiencies were identified during the Food Safety Authority investigation including inconsistencies in company recall procedures.
So, based on this latest report, please consider the following questions for your food business:
- How good are your recall procedures?
- Have you ever conducted a review against legal requirements?
- How effective is your “mock recall” process in identifying problems?
- Did you actually rectify issues identified during your last “mock recall”?
Love to hear your feedback!