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Chocolate product recall: What can we learn?

A big story in this week’s news has been around a popular chocolate manufacturer, one of the world’s largest food companies, and its product recall in 55 countries. It comes after a customer in Germany found pieces of plastic in a chocolate bar in January. The plastic was traced back to the company’s factory in the Netherlands, and they subsequently issued an international recall of a range of chocolate bars. Product recalls of this nature can end up costing organisations tens of millions of dollars in the reverse logistics operation, lost business and importantly, in damage to brand reputation. What can we learn from this?

It goes without saying that the importance of ensuring quality throughout the manufacturing process should be at the top of the agenda. It isn’t just profit and loss that takes a hit after a product recall, brand reputation is almost certainly going to be impacted. With the right food safety software solutions in place, food companies could minimise or avoid costly mistakes. The right food safety software can help businesses to identify areas of improvement, manage incidents, and improve overall performance.

The problem is that many companies do not have the systems or policies in place to successfully prevent product recalls from occurring. Disparate, manual systems and processes result in an environment where mistakes and errors could occur and are almost unavoidable.

So what can be done to minimise the risks of a product recall? The best solution is to safe guard against it happening and to be prepared; a tailored Quality Management Software system can improve quality control, ensure that internal procedures are adhered to and automatically highlight when any non-compliances occur. Potential exposures can be pinpointed and resources can be organised to respond to such risks, limiting the financial and reputational impact of a product recall should it happen.

By Lucy Excell at 1 Mar 2016, 16:12 PM

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