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Have you ever had a recall?


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Poll: Have you ever been through a recall? (18 member(s) have cast votes)

Have you ever been through a recall?

  1. Yeah, and I totally got fired! (1 votes [5.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.56%

  2. Yep, and I handled it like a PRO (9 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  3. Nah, we had market withdrawl though, and that was scary (5 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

  4. No, they've never caught us (3 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

If you had a recall, what kind of recall was it?

  1. Recall due to micro (5 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

  2. Recall due to physical (4 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  3. Recall due to chemical (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Recall due to allergen (3 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  5. N/A, I have to answer every question to vote no on #1 (6 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

OMG! I'm so curious, can you give me deets without identifying infos?

  1. Sure thing, see the epic tale of my recall tragedy below (6 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. Nah (6 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. N/A, I have to answer every question to vote no on #1 (6 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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fgjuadi

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 12:09 PM

I spend a fair amount of time categorizing risks and thinking about recalls, but I've never been through a real life recall.    How long does it take?  What happens to the factory?  What's it feel like? Awful, right?  Or totally unexpected?  Or just like a really long mock recall?

 

 


Edited by Simon, 07 November 2014 - 06:47 PM.

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it_rains_inside

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 01:43 PM

I wasnt going to comment, because I sure dont think its an epic tale, but here is the closest I have.

 

We co-pack beverages for multiple companies that partake in what we call "Seasonal R&D". Every year, around every season change we get a whole slew of new products to try and push out. Just a few months back, right around the time of the big "fall flavors" roll out - pumpkin this, pumpkin that, throw in some spiced apples, one of our customers (that were a little behind the ball anyways, as far as a releasing to the market along side their competitors) were really pushing us to run 3 ( much larger than normal) commission runs of a new product. From the get go, no one at the plant level was too happy about this formula - technically unstable is what we will call it. However the customer owned the formula, they'd had already purchased about 28 trailers full of ingredients so they could make 1,000,000,000 cases of the stuff, and it would just be the best thing ever. go.go.go.go.go.go

 

No one really looked at the issues, and those that did couldn't get the message across effectively. 

Not to mention this customer... feeling the sting of other companies advertising the release of their fall flavors. The decision was made. We will not wait until it clears micro / commission evaluation before shipping, We will send it to the DCs, Prep it, and wait with great anticipation for the word, meanwhile samples are going out for consumer surveys and pilot trials at the store level >.<  AHHHH - Total nightmare, and there was nothing I could do to veto this.

Needless to say, we started seeing issues, bloaters in the DCs, physical changes in the product, spoilage issues only (LUCKILY - it could have been much worse). So then.. there were some whispers "Market withdrawal" .... "recall at store level"  ..... very eerie. Everyone was having discussions behind closed doors and were very matter of fact about what they were doing. That is the best way I could describe it.

 

So long story short - we ended up bringing it all back. Typical mock recall procedures, just for real this time. Keep your cool, follow the system, we know it works.... just felt like practice. The product had only really made it to the DCs so it was considered like a market withdrawal. - No regulatory involvement, The customer never got to release even a single ad for the product - ended up chalking it up to "Market Trial" Roughly 10,000 cases produced. Luckily everything was kept out of the news, however the financial hit to both my company and the customer was huge - between all the cases destroyed, and the humongous remainder of ingredients that we now have to deal with.  It just goes to show that the systems exist for a reason -and they should be followed ALWAYS!

 

Sincerely,

Lame Story Teller


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

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RMAV

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 01:43 PM

You forgot an option on the poll: "Too scared to say"  :ph34r:

 

If your traceability is good, it's like a long mock recall but much more involved.  You're likely receiving back product which all has to be managed.  You likely have a lot more people involved and that all needs managed.  Then you likely have to answer to regulatory authority.  I'm likely to use "likely" again, so I'll stop.  But I'll end with, it takes up a *lot* of people's time, especially yours, even when the scope is narrow.  Required time increases exponentially as he scope widens.

 

That's if your traceability is good.



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RMAV

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 02:00 PM

quote snipped:

however the financial hit to both my company and the customer was huge - between all the cases destroyed, and the humongous remainder of ingredients that we now have to deal with.  It just goes to show that the systems exist for a reason -and they should be followed ALWAYS!

 

Thanks for sharing the story and it's nice to know others share the pain of "cutting red tape" at trial.  You bring up the financial hit - that really is huge and a part of every recall, not only all the product and ingredients, but the labor: receiving, warehousing, production, warehousing, shipping; then the recall labor starts: recall team, DC's, store level, shipping back and receiving returned product, warehousing (and QA), destruction/rework, on and on.  On top of the direct cost, you have lost line time, lost labor time, DC's and stores have lost time...all this for what you describe a relatively minor (likely not to kill anyone) issue.

 

Just my opinion, there are a lot of "risk-takers" in business, and I am one of them.  It usually pays off.  But food safety is not a place to "take risks."  The customer (abedded by the sr. management) saw a pot 'o gold at the end of the rainbow and couldn't resist!



it_rains_inside

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 02:26 PM

This happened months ago and I still can't quantify an estimated cost. Like you said ,all that is involved in the recall process / destruction. But now, we are sitting on close to a million dollars of inventory that was purchased to fit this specific formula. We can only flex our formulas so much to try and work them in other places. So more than likely most of the items will either be fire sold at a huge reduction for what they were purchased at, or (and what the more probable "solution" is going to be) is that the ingredients sit in the warehouse, untouched, until they  expire and then we destroy them too. Its obscene what happens behind closed doors.


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

                                -Wayne W. Dyer

 


cazyncymru

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:01 PM

OHH Yes, I've lived through one (or two!) but not in recent years; and no matter what training you do, it does not prepare you!

 

I've put NA as my answer to question 2, as it wasn't physical, micro, allergen or chemical.

 

It was all down to a numpty not changing a month! we packed on say 28th May, and they put the Use By as 3rd May! and it got shipped out.

 

Just keep your cool, collate everything, document everything, It is scary that time literally stands still; you can't get information back quickly enough! What was interesting is Mass Balance; what we'd despatched didn't quite tally with what was received! Problem when you produce a luxury item!

 

But we lived through it.

 

 

Cost wise, I'd hate to guess, what with the retailers fine, cost of the items, cost of replacements etc

 

Caz x



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Snookie

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 05:46 PM

OHH Yes, I've lived through one (or two!) but not in recent years; and no matter what training you do, it does not prepare you!

 

 

I have had products we received and shipped that had to be recalled. I totally agree with Caz.  No matter hard you try to make a mock it still does not compare to a real one. One of which happened on Saturday at 11:30 PM.  I was so cranky. 


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Posted 07 November 2014 - 06:37 PM

"No matter hard you try to make a mock it still does not compare to a real one."

 

This is most certainly true.



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Setanta

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:15 PM

Thank the Dread Cthulhu NO!  :giggle:


-Setanta         

 

 

 


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Snookie

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 11:42 PM

Thank the Dread Cthulhu NO!  :giggle:

 

Wow haven't heard that in a long time. 


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RG3

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 12:11 AM

Just pray that the stars don’t align and doom us all.



Setanta

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 01:38 PM

Wow haven't heard that in a long time. 

 

I married a gamer nerd.  Never heard of Lovecraft til then. EDITED to add there is a blog I've been reading that uses that phrase fairly frequently...Stonekettle Station. Warning: Fairly political.


Edited by Setanta, 08 November 2014 - 01:51 PM.

-Setanta         

 

 

 


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Posted 10 November 2014 - 08:02 PM

My husband LOVES Lovecraft....has the whole collection and is teaching my kids.   As soon as I said Lovecraft about your post they immediately knew who it was. 


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trubertq

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 12:17 PM

I was involved in a recall with one of my clients due to Listeria monocytogenes detection...... I still have nightmares and I don't even work there full time!!

 

It's scary, and when you have 2 or 3 regulatory authorities crawling all over your plant, documentation etc.. it's hard to keep control because after all it is YOUR system not theirs and they all want to take control.

 

We got all the stuff back but it took weeks to find the source of the listeria in the plant which turned out to be the X -ray detector which wasn't designed to be deep cleaned and kept re contaminating product.

 

A LOT of salutory lessons learned.... equipment design

                                                           sampling plans

                                                           traceability

                                                           frequency of deep cleaning

                                                           lots of other stuff.....

 

Thankfully it was detected before the product got as far as consumers so nobody was harmed during the incident , except perhaps the QA department who naturally are blamed for everything that goes wrong.

 

It is still referred back to when things start to get a little hairy, all we have to say is remember October xxxx......


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Posted 15 November 2014 - 02:46 PM

Our recall was terrible. A meal in a pouch that went into a meal bag. Think MRE like! Can't remember all the details, but I was the one on the phone with the Owner, the VP of everything, the President of the Division, etc, and I said the word - "RECALL", whether they liked it or not. We had to have production counts, retort counts, defect after retorting counts, loss in final packaging counts, and they all had to add up! Product had to be returned from Italy, and two other copackers, and the faulty packages had to be accounted for. Again, the numbers had to add up! Then, destruction under the direction a Government agent and a plant person (QC) to confirm all product was destroyed and buried, never to be seen in a flea market, etc. Don't forget accountability! Note, this product was LACF that had not received a proper thermal process because of a faulty MIG over three shifts. So, it was potentially harmful if consumed. Not fun.


Edited by Ratchet, 15 November 2014 - 02:50 PM.


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fgjuadi

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 04:07 PM

Thanks everyone, I went to FREE FDA training about this last week (thanks, California Dept of Public Health)  and it really gave me some stuff to think about /  questions for the class.


Edited by magenta_majors, 17 November 2014 - 04:07 PM.

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Scampi

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:30 PM

wanted to add my 2 cents....i was employed with a very large meat processing company (not in a haccp capacity) where there was a horrific recall involving a tragic loss of lives. The entire company held its breath, all floors of the offices at my building were silent when the recall was announced. Not because we as a company were worried about bad press, but that as a company we all felt as though we let our nation down. We were more than a year til it felt like operations across the board were back to near normal. Everyone and I do mean everyone in my office was directly affected. Month end journals didn't get done, raw materials had to be rerouted to other plants and/or sold to competition. None of the processing facilities produced ANYTHING for a week. Every time my phone rang i cringed, knowing full well it was either a customer or supplier wanting to know just what the f*** was going on. 

I urge everyone who reads this post to push push push your boss/owner/supervisor. NEVER accept the status quo as good enough.......it CAN always be better. 


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