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Best way to deal with a customer finding hair in your product?


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QA_123

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:20 PM

Has anybody ever dealt with a customer finding hair in your product?  I have worked here 20 + years and have never had to deal with it until now.  What is the best way to deal with the customer?  



dstout

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:56 PM

Best way is take ownership, admit the fault and replace the product. Of course don't forget to perform a proper investigation and a root cause analysis as to why and how this occurred. Normally most people are level headed and a good phone call or email conversation along with an apology goes a long way.  



ClareW

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 12:23 AM

Acknowledge the complaint. Apologize and reassure that the management has system in place to manage food safety and quality but will use this opportunity to review the current controls in place. Should reimburse the food. Assess the situation. May need to conduct a refresher training for your staff, on Personal Hygiene and wearing hairnet the right way. Often they don't wear it properly because they don't know why or how in the first place.



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Charles.C

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:11 AM

Has anybody ever dealt with a customer finding hair in your product?  I have worked here 20 + years and have never had to deal with it until now.  What is the best way to deal with the customer?  

 

Need some context, eg a raw product destined to be further processed somewhat different to a hamburger ??


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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The Food Scientist

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 02:36 PM

What is your customer complaint procedure say?

 

What I do is:

 

- Apologize. Say we will do everything we can to fix it and investigate.

- Ask for the product back or at least a photo of it, with lot #/date code.

- Investigate

- Take responsibility of the fault but do not go like yeah yeah we found a hair because an employee had their hair out and that's how it happened. They do not need to know details. That is if they ask about details, I never had a customer ask me for details of investigation. I just apologize and say it was an unfortunate mistake and we are wanting to fix it. 

- I send them a gift basket of many products and sometimes a gift card with compensation.

- Call them personally and introduce yourself as the Food Safety Responsible party, because they need to know and feel that you take food safety serious.

- I send them an apology letter with my gift basket and a thank you for trying our products. 

- Of course internally, investigate root cause and corrective action. 


Edited by The Food Scientist, 30 January 2020 - 02:37 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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Duncan

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 03:17 PM

Hair contamination was a recurring issue for a number of food manufacturers I've worked for.

 

I treat all complaints in largely the same way:

 

1 - Acknowledge the specifics of the complaint and apologise

2 - Detail the investigation and conclusions

3 - Describe the controls already in place that ought to have prevented this incident

4 - Detail any changes or improvements to those controls that will further reduce the change of recurrence

5 - Summarise the circumstances and commit to ongoing improvement. Apologise again as part of the summary.

 

In the case of human hair contamination, if you've got appropriate PPE and hygiene procedures, you often end up saying manual processes are inherently susceptible to human contamination - and while your process cannot be further optimised you have communicated this incident to the production team so they can be extra vigilant.

 

It seems quite dissatisfactory because the outcome of your investigation may not significantly reduce future risk, but that's just the limitations of a manual process.


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johnmcip

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 03:54 PM

What is your customer complaint procedure say?

 

What I do is:

 

- Apologize. Say we will do everything we can to fix it and investigate.

- Ask for the product back or at least a photo of it, with lot #/date code.

- Investigate

- Take responsibility of the fault but do not go like yeah yeah we found a hair because an employee had their hair out and that's how it happened. They do not need to know details. That is if they ask about details, I never had a customer ask me for details of investigation. I just apologize and say it was an unfortunate mistake and we are wanting to fix it. 

- I send them a gift basket of many products and sometimes a gift card with compensation.

- Call them personally and introduce yourself as the Food Safety Responsible party, because they need to know and feel that you take food safety serious.

- I send them an apology letter with my gift basket and a thank you for trying our products. 

- Of course internally, investigate root cause and corrective action. 

 

Oh man, remind me to "find a hair" in your product.






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