Food For Thought When It Comes To Product Recalls
During 2016/17, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) - the food-supply regulator in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - recalled 62 products. During the same period, Scotland’s FSS recalled 82 and the FSA and FSS together issued Allergy Alerts for 88 products.
In February 2018 alone, product recalls made food news headlines for a variety of reasons. Mice infestation was thought to have affected marshmallow candy, pieces of plastic were found in tomato ketchup and bits of rubber became an unwelcome ingredient within Quorn chilli. Then, a potential choking hazard materialised within mango and lychee-flavoured jelly.
Fish cakes have been found to contain plastic and metal particles, and moths and moth larvae were identified in gluten-free porridge. The recall of some meat products was necessary because an incorrect use-by date was printed on the label.
Allergen alerts were also issued by the big supermarkets. A dairy-free coconut milk product contained milk, a mint sauce included undeclared egg, and dip eggs contained milk and other allergens undisclosed on the product labelling in English. Those with a celery allergy were not alerted to the fact that it was a flavouring in a penne Bolognese bake.
Rather embarrassingly, in December 2017, 18 cakes produced by ‘Ridiculously Rich’, the company of TV ‘Apprentice’ winner Alana Spencer and Lord Sugar, had to be recalled for undisclosed allergens.
Product recalls happen for numerous reasons, making it clear that a recall is an ever-present possibility, whether it is due to mechanical failures on the production line, poor hygiene, lack of clarity over ingredients sourced from within the food chain, unpredictable and less obvious infestations, or human error or malicious intent.
If a product recall could rock, interrupt, or damage a business’s reputation, it should safeguard against this trauma by having insurance protection in place. Product recall insurance can cover product contamination, recall costs, malicious tampering and business recovery costs.
This insurance can also help a food business plan ahead, and have procedures in place, should a recall become necessary. Crisis PR and brand protection support can also be provided, so the minimum amount of damage is done to the brand.
Please make contact, if you recognise that product recall insurance protection is a must-have for your business.