Navigation : Home > Deviation > Recalling a Product

Recalling a Product

Cooling and cold storage are essential for producing safe high-quality meat products. Cooked products must be properly cooled to prevent the growth of spore-forming pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens, and raw products must be kept properly refrigerated to minimize growth of the significant microbiological hazards associated with them (Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus for all products, E.coli O157:H7 for beef).

The goals of a product recall

A product recall is intended to protect public health.  Your first goal is to regain control of all potentially hazardous products.  If this goal is met, the recall is successful.  Sometimes you’ll have to also work toward a second goal: telling the public about the potentially hazardous product and how to dispose of it.

Basic principles of conducting a product recall

There are ten basic principles that will make execution of your recall plan effective.

  1. Use a lot or date code on all products.
  2. Designate (ahead of time!) a person who will be in charge of the recall.
  3. Designate (ahead of time!) a person who will talk with the media.
  4. Keep good records of your wholesale customers so you can easily contact them.
  5. Have a plan for informing the public.
  6. Have model press releases and customer-contact scripts ready (ahead of time!).
  7. Work with (not against!) regulators.
  8. Act quickly – if in doubt take the safer course of action.
  9. Be honest with those who ask questions.
  10. Practice your recall plan with a “dry run.”

Basic principles of conducting a product recall

USDA has a thorough guide to conducting recalls.  Click HERE for copy.