By Lois Harris
More than half of the secret to recovering from a pathogen-related product recall lies in being prepared before it even happens, according to Keith Warriner, a professor of food science at Canada’s University of Guelph.
“Have a recall team that includes someone with decision-making authority,” he says, noting that, depending on the company, the team should also have staff from quality assurance, production, marketing and distribution. Warriner recommends they work together to create different “practice scenarios” –finding listeria in a slicing machine, for example – and then examine them and resolve potential glitches before the need even arises.
When a recall is triggered by the discovery of a pathogen like salmonella or listeria, the first thing to get right is a diagnosis of the problem.