They say what doesn't kill, makes you stronger. However, in the world of food safety, this adage may not be true. Companies that process food for consumers have come and gone. Great business leaders know the challenges of developing trust among its customers. They also know anything that breaks that trust can threaten their company not only in the short term but potentially forever. One risk food processors have is their supply chain, and that risk is only growing.
Take General Mills Flour for example. As of July 31, 2016, over 45 million pounds of flour have been recalled, in 21 states. This is a small fraction of the 2.5 billion pounds of flour produced by General Mills every year. It is still under investigation but, it is thought that the raw flour was contaminated with E. Coli. Thorough cooking will kill the E. Coli, but eating raw dough, such as cookie dough, could expose consumers to illness.
General Mills Website shows products recalled for potential E. Coli contamination.
Several products have been recalled as a result of the General Mills announcement. FDA Link
Products recalled linked to General Mills flour recall for E. Coli contamination.
Food safety incidents make national headlines. Another recall affects ConAgra Foods’ Watts Brothers Farms branded frozen vegetables. Sold at Costco, the vegetables were found to be contaminated with Listeria. While this recall may not affect foodservice outlets such as restaurants, it highlights concerns about contamination from unsuspected sources.
Food Safety News highlights ConAgra Foods’ Watts Brothers Farms frozen vegetable recall.
The issue is clear. Robust supplier testing and documentation is needed. Audits by wholesalers and distributors may be one solution. Although testing can be expensive, product recalls can cost, even more. Suppliers that provide scientifically validated and verified data regarding their products will be rewarded in the marketplace. Those that don't, may become another forgotten name.