Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

Facing disciplinary action for not initiating a product recall


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 06 October 2014 - 02:54 PM

Hi All,

 

I hope this isn't a problem posting this on here, I am looking for some advice on behalf of a friend, they are experiencing problems with the company that they work for. They are employed as Technical Manager at a company which do not have, but are working towards attaining BRC accreditation. They are currently undergoing disciplinary process, the nature of the unsatisfactory performance is:

 

"As Technical Manager you failed to initiate a product recall immediately after the first complaint, the chef was not informed that he should not use the rest of the box which led to a second complaint."

 

A few facts:

  • The foreign body was a piece of Blue Glove that appeared to be a finger.
  • There was nothing to indicate there was a potential for further contamination.
  • Products are sold in boxes of 30-50 to food service end units only receive approx a box at a time.
  • 3 more senior managers plus the owner of the business aware of all actions during the investigations.

My question to you would be, would you initiate a product recall/withdrawal after 1 foreign body complaint of a piece of blue glove and your reasons why/ why not?

 

I of course have my opinions on the matter but would like to provide them with further advice if possible.

 

I'm sure you can appreciate why I'm being relatively vague with the details but all constructive advice welcome, so they can either understand their short comings or support their argument. 

 

Many thanks!



#2 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 06 October 2014 - 04:31 PM

There are a lot factors which would effect the decision to recall.  Think there are other factors to be considered, however based on what you presented, it is unlikely that I would initiate a recall over a finger of a glove.  At most of the facilities I have worked at, we have tons of those gloves everywhere in production.  They do need to be controlled, and that really comes down to training everyone to be diligent about their gloves and foreign control. 

 

These types of gloves will rip-especially depending on how they are being used.  Sounds like a lot of finger pointing, blame and scapegoating.  Not knowing where your friend is located, and what options she may have.  I would not sit down and take it and would document all of the exact reasons I disagree with the disciplinary action. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

Thanked by 1 Member:

#3 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 06 October 2014 - 04:32 PM

PS  :welcome:  to the forum. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#4 Simon

Simon

    IFSQN...it's My Life

  • IFSQN Admin
  • 12,287 posts
  • 1293 thanks
590
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester
  • Interests:Married to Michelle, Father of three boys (Oliver, Jacob and Louis). I enjoy cycling, walking and travelling, watching sport, especially football and Manchester United. Oh and I love food and beer and wine.

Posted 06 October 2014 - 05:04 PM

Hi Sophie, I would say that is very harsh and my guess is that it's being used as an excuse to send your friend down the disciplinary route...perhaps for other reasons.  If there are other reasons then they need to pursue those with facts.  They are certainly talking BS on this one.  If you believed the first complaint was an isolated incident and nobody reported anything I would not have initiated a recall as the severity of injury is very low.  Although all foreign body complaints are undesirable some are much more severe than others such as glass, blades, rodent droppings etc.  A bit of a blue latex glove is not in the same league.

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

:welcome:


hand-pointing-down.gif
 
Get FREE bitesize education with IFSQN webinar recordings.
 
Download this handy excel for desktop access to over 140 Food Safety Friday's webinar recordings.
https://www.ifsqn.com/fsf/Free%20Food%20Safety%20Videos.xlsx

 
Check out IFSQN’s extensive library of FREE food safety videos
https://www.ifsqn.com/food_safety_videos.html

 

recommend-us-on-facebook.png


Thanked by 1 Member:

#5 RG3

RG3

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 501 posts
  • 164 thanks
74
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" Albert Einstein

Posted 06 October 2014 - 05:34 PM

The good ol'    "I have a friend"



#6 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,371 posts
  • 4836 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 06 October 2014 - 05:55 PM

Dear Sophie,

 

So what is yr documented recall policy / procedure / responsibility chain ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:16 AM

Morning,

 

Thanks All!

 

That's were it gets a bit ropey, The product recall procedure once initiated was followed to the letter. Whats missing from the paperwork trial is at what point a product recall should be initiated. The owner was copied in on an email stating the corrective actions which were going to be undertaking and was fully aware at all points of the actions to be taken, yet they are still trying tot take disciplinary action.

 

Responsibility chain - Initially the technical Manager was reporting directly into the general manager but between the time they are saying this product recall should have happened and on receiving the invitation to the disciplinary hearing the reporting structure change without her knowledge to show her reporting into the production Manager. 

 

Unfortunately she is pregnant which is why I think they are trying to go down this route. This is why I am trying to gather industry advice to back up why a written warning is unjust in this case.

 

Thanks again!



#8 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 337 thanks
125
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 October 2014 - 11:01 AM

OHHH if she pregnant they their on the stickiest wicket ever!

 

If they sack her, then she could claim its because of her condition and she'll probably win in a tribunal.

 

If they are going for BRC / Tesco, then they should have an organogram. Tell your mate to get a copy of the old organogram that was where she reported to the GM, and a copy of the new one where she reports into the PM. Look at the dates. Better still, take a screen shot of when the new document was created! (Sly I know, but needs must!). Make sure that she has copies of all documents pertaining to the incident and any emails. Not sure where you are, but mention the magi word "Union"  even if you don't belong. Other magic words to use are " Constructive dismissal".

 

 

If she gets a written warning, then I wouldn't worry / bother. I would use my time wisely whilst on maternity to find myself a better job! You haven't made it in the UK unless you've had gardening leave at least once by the time your 40!!

 

 

If I got a warning, then id be taking the rest of my time off with pregnancy related stress! LOL

 

Caz x


Edited by cazyncymru, 07 October 2014 - 11:05 AM.


Thanked by 1 Member:

#9 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 07 October 2014 - 11:43 AM

Thanks Caz, 

 

We are in the UK! Shes got copies of everything, tried to get the old reporting structure but couldn't find it however she has the new one and it's been doc controlled with the new issue date. So obvious when it was changed. Plus she has documented everything that has happened on email so date and time etc recorded. So if it came down to it she would be prepared.

 

Shes out the door at 29 weeks and not going back but doing everything she can to avoid have to go down the constructive dismissal route as possible. 

 

I think it's more the point that she is really frustrated that they are even giving her a warning because if they try and use her a scape goat going forward they could fire her on the next warning!! Plus it stays on her record...!!



#10 Mike Green

Mike Green

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 355 posts
  • 74 thanks
36
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Durham
  • Interests:Food(cooking & eating!) Gym, Sun, Sea,Surf,

Posted 07 October 2014 - 12:12 PM

Whats missing from the paperwork trial is at what point a product recall should be initiated

 

Surely this is the crux of the argument?

 

If it was company policy to initiate a recall-but  there was no written policy stating at what point the recall should be initiated (or it wasn't made available to the staff member)-then it is perfectly understandable(and defensible)  that an error was made

 

(The  rapid changes to the reporting structure may indicate that the company has also identified 'issues' with the recall procedure!)

 

Mike


I may sound like a complete idiot...but actually there are a couple of bits missing

#11 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 09 October 2014 - 10:44 PM

Please let us know how it goes for your friend. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#12 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:04 AM

Well a written warning was still given, appeal is to be submitted beginning of next week! Unfortunately the owner made the initial decision and he is the person she has to appeal too due to the size of the company!

 

So will have to wait and see to see if he decides to revoke the warning...!



#13 DonnaC

DonnaC

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 39 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 10 October 2014 - 12:20 PM

That's so strange Sophie, we are a very small company and when 2 lads were wrongly clocking in and out (it was hand written time-sheets at the time) the owner/managing director couldn't give out the warnings as he was the one who they would have appealed to so the General Manager had to give the warnings. 

The owner was told to do it that way by a reputable HR company I would tell your friend to look into that. 



#14 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 10 October 2014 - 12:30 PM

She has been in contact with ACAS, from what I can understand they aren't really following there own or the ACAS procedure and this will brought to her employers attention in the Appeal!!



#15 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 337 thanks
125
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 October 2014 - 12:55 PM

The person hearing the appeal can't be the person who gave the warning!



#16 Mike Green

Mike Green

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 355 posts
  • 74 thanks
36
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Durham
  • Interests:Food(cooking & eating!) Gym, Sun, Sea,Surf,

Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:43 PM

The person hearing the appeal can't be the person who gave the warning!

Actually (although it would be better all round if it was!) that is not strictly true- the ACAS Code of Practice does state this-but is not legally binding on either party

 

....Though if the code is breached without justification ( justification might be- 'I am the  sole business owner & ultimate decision maker for employment matters')-a tribunal can take the breach into consideration

 

Kind Regards

 

Mike


I may sound like a complete idiot...but actually there are a couple of bits missing

#17 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 10 October 2014 - 04:52 PM

Please let us know how it all comes out.  Positive thoughts and prayers for your friend. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#18 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 12 October 2014 - 06:07 AM

Hi Sophie,

 

It does all sound like BS. IME middle management are the least protected members of the workforce.

 

"As Technical Manager you failed to initiate a product recall immediately after the first complaint, the chef was not informed that he should not use the rest of the box which led to a second complaint."

 

The crux of this is the product recall procedure;

Does it state how many complaints can be received before a recall is implemented?

Does it state the nature of the complaint?

Does it define a serious complaint that warrants a recall?

Does it clearly define responsibilities?

 

Ultimately does it state that your friend was responsible for instigating a recall and ensuring all product on site was quarantined pending further investigation/inspection?

 

I do particularly detest organizations like this where ultimately there will be a blame culture, employees will go on the defensive and be afraid of the repercussions of making a mistake or being associated with a problem.

 

I remember one particularly psychotic MD trying to discipline me once after a product recall because I told the customer the truth about what had happened and he had told them a 'white lie'. He quickly realized it was he who would be finished if he did.

 

Let's hope the appeal goes better for your friend.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#19 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 13 October 2014 - 08:09 AM

Hi All,

 

Thank you very much for advice,

 

She has submitted an appeal so fingers crossed.

 

No it's not strictly true that person who made the first decision can't be the person who hears the appeal, however it is considered best practice. She has made it clear that she is aware who has made the decision and that she has done her research so hopefully they will take her seriously!

 

Tony C - Unfortunately that is the main problem there is nothing in writing to specify any of those points the company was undergoing a major IT systems over hall to support a better traceability system (therefore affecting the recall procedure) So the recall procedure was woolly at best, waiting on the systems to be finalised for a more robust procedure to be written to support the new systems. However once the recall was instigated after the second foreign body find, it was completed as per the procedure. 

 

Unfortunately the blame culture if rife there by all accounts.

 

I will keep you all updated on her progress.

 

Thanks All :)



#20 RMAV

RMAV

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 406 posts
  • 121 thanks
41
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA - Midwest
  • Interests:QA, Micro, Sanitation;
    Meats, Juice, Condiments;
    SQF, Audit, and aviation

Posted 13 October 2014 - 10:25 AM

"I do particularly detest organizations like this where ultimately there will be a blame culture"

 

I do too, and wherever I have seen one I saw the blame culture get in the way of profits.  I wish that if people can't do the right thing because it's the right thing, they would at least do it for the money.  Indeed, doing either requires a good culture at the top.



#21 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:10 PM

Hi Sophie,

 

It does all sound like BS. IME middle management are the least protected members of the workforce.

 

Absolutely could not agree more and they kicked from above and below. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#22 Sophie.H

Sophie.H

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 10 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 20 October 2014 - 12:44 PM

Hi All,

 

I've just heard the news on her appeal and the written warning has been revoked!!!

 

Long story short, the business nearly lost a lot of business over the incident, the straw that broke the camels back some may say, hence why she thinks they were trying to use her as a scapegoat!

 

Thanks all for your advice.



#23 Setanta

Setanta

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,134 posts
  • 288 thanks
180
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading: historical fiction, fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Movies
    Gardening
    Birding

Posted 20 October 2014 - 01:19 PM

Good News on the revocation! :biggrin:


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#24 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 20 October 2014 - 06:04 PM

That's good news....hopefully they can still have a good, productive relationship going forward. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

EV SSL Certificate