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Crisis Management And Product Recall

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:08 AM

I currently find myself in the minority on our Crisis Management committee.

In the past, at every establishment i have worked, Product Recall has been separate to Crisis Management, even though it has been refered to in the procedure, and has been a integral part of the Quality Manual

Where i am now, they actually have product recall as part of the CMP. The CMP also does not form part of the quality manual but is a standalone document. I'm the only one voicing my concerns that product recall ought to be separate and that all incidents need to be risk assessed.

Now in my opinion, the dynamics of a Product Recall or Withdrawal is different to the dynamics of Crisis Management. To be honest, i'm very nervous of this being integrated as it is, but am i over reacting?

What are your experiences?

c x


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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:47 PM

This is an increasingly complex area. many companies have multiple programs - for crisis management, food defense, and recall...and sometimes because they are different programs they conflict or they forget what they say!

In my opinion - crisis management and similar topics like food defense have two distinct areas - one is working to reduce the chances of an event and the other is responding to an event. The response - is where the recall program belongs.

As long as it is clear what is a preventive program and which is a reactive program - it doens't matter too much how they are named.

I am an advocate of keeping them apart because customers or auditors may ask for one specific thing - and it is easier to show it to them if it is distinct. If, on the other hand a customer or auditor is adamant that they all be part of one program - you can still keep them apart by including one inside another via reference and not actually writing it all out within one big program...make sense?

Cathy Crawford, HACCP Consulting Group


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Posted 27 September 2008 - 04:24 AM

I am looking at things from the business aspect. I would agree that risk management and/or assessment is paramount. But from what we learned of past experiences all over the world, crisis management is as important. Often, we found out that when the problem was discovered, management took too much time to make a decision (perhaps was even in a lost) because the implications are monumental - it could mean the collapse of an organization with thousands of employees, it could have national implications or affect the whole industry in the nation.

My view is that management have to have a chance to think through it perhaps in a mock exercise and come up with an action plan so that when it really happens, they would have already considered all possibilities and are able to come to an almost instantaneous decision.

Conclusion - should have both!

Edited by chen, 27 September 2008 - 04:25 AM.


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Posted 27 September 2008 - 09:08 PM

Hi Caz.

The product recall procedure at our company is within the Crisis Management Procedures, the reasoning is that whilst a recall may not be a crisis some of the most likely crisis scenarios will require a recall so have the procedure in the CMP. The recall procedure is referenced in the Quality Manual but doesn't live in there. Wouldn't be my personal choice to do it that way but as a primary ingredients provider to some huge brands the Group Technical people wanted the info in one place that all those likely to be involved in a recall whether in a crisis or not would have ready access to.

Why put off until tomorrow that which you can avoid doing altogether ?

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