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Customer complaint! Found small worm in canned produce


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#1 Steffen Weigel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:58 AM

Hello All ,

Yesterday I gat a complain about a small worm in canned apricots.
Would actions would you take now ?

Here maybe a helpful information :
We are just a food warehouse and we sell all kind of American food to the military.
And in my whole carer now ,it's the first customer complain about a worm in a canned product.
No other costumer complained about this issue.

Thanks in advance ,

Steffen



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Hello All ,

Yesterday I gat a complain about a small worm in canned apricots.
Would actions would you take now ?

Here maybe a helpful information :
We are just a food warehouse and we sell all kind of American food to the military.
And in my whole carer now ,it's the first customer complain about a worm in a canned product.
No other costumer complained about this issue.

Thanks in advance ,

Steffen


Dear Steffen,

The reaction somewhat depends if the complainant is a known / trusted connection.

I deduce your QA function has no historical records of complaints. Amazing if correct.

Regardless the customary first response is to express profound sounds of regret followed by a request for the return of the offending can / item. (Or to pick it up if that is feasible).
(the [partial] objective is to try and identify bogus claims while at the same time documenting the problem as well as possible).

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Charles.C

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:55 AM

Dear Steffen,

My apologies, i forgot one thing due yr special role, you are not the producer but only the innocent "custodian".

I presume the product is imported but nonetheless, it is perfectly reasonable to start passing the buck long distance.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Steffen Weigel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Dear Steffen,

My apologies, i forgot one thing due yr special role, you are not the producer but only the innocent "custodian".

I presume the product is imported but nonetheless, it is perfectly reasonable to start passing the buck long distance.

Rgds / Charles.C


Hi Charles,

Our Coustomer service record complaints.
And we looked back and it was the first complain about a Quality issue on a canned item.
We import the products from the US and i can just do my quality control from the outside.
We apologize the issue and we replace the bad product.
is this the right way?
Or is there an other line of action ?


Thanks,

Steffen

#5 Charles.C

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

Hi Charles,

Our Coustomer service record complaints.
And we looked back and it was the first complain about a Quality issue on a canned item.
We import the products from the US and i can just do my quality control from the outside.
We apologize the issue and we replace the bad product.
is this the right way?
Or is there an other line of action ?


Thanks,

Steffen


Dear Steffen,

The point is that if you are going to follow it up back to the source, you will need evidence,eg contamination, code etc.

If there is a policy of non-follow up, only replacement, then no need to investigate presumably.

The (personal) risk is that if no follow-up and problem shortly occurs again, you can guess where the buck might stop. :smile:

IMEX as a producer, the big-boys always follow-up, and unfortunately they are often right to do so.

Does your Company actually have a Policy ? (Most Companies IMEX have an "Incident Form" which includes Corrective Action)
(Even if is "replace only" which i doubt unless perhaps there is a "No action" limit, i would make very sure that yr actions are fully documented and copied onwards / upwards).

I seem to recall that the percentage of consumer-found defects which are reported back to the distributor is a small number, number of lost customers not so small. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Steffen Weigel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:56 PM

Hi Charles ,

For sure i documented this complain and besides the log from our costumer service i created one only for me and my QA Personal so we are record now every single complain in our department too.
We have policy's but we are updating right now our Food Defense plan ,
when you have some ideas for me to bring in into our plan,let me know.

so what would you do in my situation ?




#7 Setanta

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

If you have the source for the canned item, I would go back to the source, notifying them of this issue and asking a response from them. Document the request and any response.


S.


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#8 john123

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

When you say you're a "food warehouse", I'm assuming you guys only store the canned product and did not actually produce/package the apricots yourselves?

In that regard, I think replacing the product for your customer was the right thing to do (or at least offer to do so). You can then elevate it by filing a complaint with your producer. Make them aware of the issue and get a corrective action from them, find out how they'll prevent this in the future.



#9 Steffen Weigel

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

Hi John123,

You are right we import Food from the US to Germany and sell them to the US Government.
We no producer of products we just storage food.


Regards,


Steffen



#10 Chris @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

Hi Steffen,

The ultimate responsibility here lies at the manufacturing location. During production, they are responsibile to employ manufacturing practices that will eliminate, or at least reduce to an acceptable level, foreing material complaints of this type. Coming from the canned food industry, one of the first things that I would do is ask for the sample. Occasionally, there are characteristic changes that occur during thermal processing which result in coagulated, blob-like items that can often be mistaken as a worm or a bug. While you need to be sensitive to the consumer during this complaint, you also need to be completely sure. I recall having a small rodent returned one time and the consumer was very adamant that it was in the can when they opened it. We sent the rodent to an outside lab to be tested, and they verified that it was never thermally processed, and therefore could not have been in the can. There are all sorts of possiblilities - but without proper investigation you are left only with assumptions. To touch on Charles. C's point, if it is indeed determined that it is a worm, further (root cause) investigatoin should happen at the manufacturing facility accompanied by corrective action that will mitigate recurrence.

Hope this helps,
Chris



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