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Managing Product Recall.


Subtitled a Comprehensive Guide to Establishing a Product Recall Plan, this book has arrived at a time when the problems of product recall are not too well understood. There have been a considerable number of cases of sabotage and health scares as far as food is concerned and always the company at the receiving end of the threat has had to spend considerable sums of money defending a market share or customer confidence. Either way the problem is to define just how great the risks involved are. Having made the appropriate decisions, the company and its personnel have to establish the correct line for public relations pronouncements and carefully plan any recall.

The author has had ten years' experience in helping companies recall products. Whilst no two cases are identical, there are some general principles that can be followed and these are carefully set down here.

The three parts of the text carry titles: The background; Product recall planning; and Product recall case histories. He opens the text by discussing product safety management and the law and product recall. Obviously safety is of paramount importance, especially where food is being dealt with, but equally the economic repercussions can be quite dramatic. In the second part of the book the author sets out the chain of command structure that needs setting up to ensure that all scenarios are covered. At this stage product traceability is all important, and one needs to make sure that all substandard product can be located and recovered.

An interesting section is the one on case histories. These include: John West's canned salmon, Farley's baby food, Perrier mineral water, Novatex Fritex deepfat fryer, Wall's canned stewed steak, Larousse cookery dictionary and arsenic in beer. Other case histories are quoted but these cover areas that are not food related, although this does not mean lessons can not be learned from them. One of the five appendices is entitled Some consumer products recalled in the UK and others are as interesting. These are followed by a selection of tables summarizing the major actions by classification, the real costs of a recall, the cost of two botulism outbreaks and others.

Now there is considerable risk for the food industry from those with malicious intent in their minds, and it could be money well spent to browse through this book because no-one knows whose turn it is next!
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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