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Help needed responding to an angry customer with infested product


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Rudra

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 01:25 PM

Dear all,
One customer bought a packet of dry pasta last week (produced in march 2021) and found it to be infested with weevils and larvae. We have already installed an entoletor machine at the level of flour sieving since May 2021. The client is very angry. I need to draft an official email regarding this issue. Can any help please?
Thanks and kind regard
Rudra



olenazh

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 01:52 PM

It might be not your fault: improper storage conditions at distribution or store level. However, you're right you'll need to send an apology letter, something like "We have received your complaint and share concern. We are starting immediate investigation to correct the issue and prevent problem recurrence in the future. We apologize for any inconvenience it might have caused." Let's see what other guys would suggest.



MDaleDDF

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 02:47 PM

Whenever I have an angry customer, the first thing I do is send them free replacement product, more than they bought.   This goes a long ways toward making them happy. 



olenazh

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 03:04 PM

Oh, right, I forgot: of course, free product or gift card to soothe the anger! MDaleDDF is completely right.



Rudra

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 03:32 PM

Thank you all. Are weevils food safety hazards?



olenazh

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 03:59 PM

It definitely is a hazard - simply, because it's not one of your product ingredients, secondly - it's insect infestation.



MDaleDDF

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:08 PM

So either recall or add weevils to the ingredient statement?  Gonna have to choose the lesser of two weevils?

Lol, I'm truly sorry.  Couldn't help myself.....



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olenazh

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:24 PM

Oh, regarding those weevils and stuff in pasta products: I recall, my grandparents had those quite often when revising old stock of macaroni and other pasta. They were used to making quite a stock after going through 1941-1945 war when they were starving... So, what I'm saying: insect infestation is common in old stuff, but how could new products, made in March 2021, be infested? You definitely need a thorough investigation on all levels, including storage, transportation, DC, retail, etc.



Scampi

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:28 PM

Agree with your customer and do as stated above

 

You also need a root cause investigation

 

Are you infested at the plant level OR have your seals failed??

 

Lesser of two weevils!!!!!!!  I love it


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Slab

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:35 PM

Whenever I have an angry customer, the first thing I do is send them free replacement product, more than they bought.   This goes a long ways toward making them happy. 

 

Maybe it's just me, but if I find insects in your product the last thing I want is more food from you.


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"Some people freak out when they see small vertebra in their pasta" ~ Chef John


olenazh

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:44 PM

Maybe it's just me, but if I find insects in your product the last thing I want is more food from you.

Big deal! Come on, you're too picky: you just inspect it thoroughly prior to consuming. :ejut:



MMQA

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 05:13 PM

Hi, when I would see a pest complaint that could be from our company I would do the usual 'thank you for reporting this issue...' and then add a paragraph in regards to the investigation done with existing product and on the lines. I would add another paragraph where I would indicate any preventive measures we took, in your case the new equipment (with all the dates you mentioned), any PCO visits if this applies.

 

Btw, I am not familiar with pasta operations but one time when I found pests in flour it was because the bottom lining of the silo was torn and flour was falling through the cracks and it wasn't noticed when it was cleaned, and it took a long time for it to be empty again when I could see all the damage.



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MDaleDDF

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 05:30 PM

Maybe it's just me, but if I find insects in your product the last thing I want is more food from you.

Judging by the happy response I get when I do it, it's just you....lol.   And yeah, preferably replace with a different lot #?    Bug free if possible?  

We're a mix manufacturer, so we all know what happens with flour, and most of my stuff is 80%ish flour.   It's only happened once in my time here, but these things can and will happen.   For me the product was past the date on the packaging, but I still replaced it with fresh and made nice, you know, kissin hands and shakin babies.  PR i believe they call that...

 

I've seen people excitedly accept free things you wouldn't believe.  Free is a great motivator in most human beings, no?

 



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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 04:57 PM

First do what was suggested above to appease your customer. I'm curious why you installed the entoleter when you did? Is this a new line / process / product? Had you identified this issue in the past? Are you sure your approved supplier program is solid or how do you source the flour? An entoleter is designed to kill worms / larvae, which you already know exist correct? How do you separate the dead larvae from your product post-entoleter?



olenazh

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 05:09 PM

First do what was suggested above to appease your customer. I'm curious why you installed the entoleter when you did? Is this a new line / process / product? Had you identified this issue in the past? Are you sure your approved supplier program is solid or how do you source the flour? An entoleter is designed to kill worms / larvae, which you already know exist correct? How do you separate the dead larvae from your product post-entoleter?

Oh boy, really - every day is a lesson! I've never known about such a great equipment killing larvae and other yummy stuff. Just tell me: if it does kill them - how then those are removed from the flour? Or insects are smashed into tiny pieces so nobody would recognize? That would be a nice protein addition :giggle:


Edited by olenazh, 01 September 2021 - 05:09 PM.


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TylerJones

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Posted 01 September 2021 - 07:32 PM

My past life was in a rice mill. These weevils are common place and almost entirely impossible to kill 100%. Flour mills/ rice mills these weevils have a 30 day life cycle. This bug is a multimillion dollar pain in the rear. The pesticides (foggers) used to kill these have a hard time killing larva and eggs already laid. I used to do the phosphine applications on bagged rice and over time the weevils will adapt to the gas and the kill rate would go down generating more growth over time. Here's my 2 cents:

 

1. Depending on your facility and process (bucket elevators) hoppers or augers these need to be completely cleaned out within 30 days to break the life cycle.

 

2. Your machine that kills them on the floor to me sounds more like an indicator that the weevils are there (like a pheromone trap) and you must kill the bugs. Talk to your pesticide provider there is a chemical called VAP-8 that wont corrode all the copper and metal in your machines and sometimes that was used in a fogger in the production areas that was pumped in over the weekend and killed the weevils during the hot summer months. 

 

I guess going back to your OP, I'd go along the lines of saying and doing everything pervious posts have said but never say it will never happen again- because it will. Also this is truly a quality issue, this weevil will morph into the Indian Meal Moth that lives in cupboards and kitchens around the world. No recall draft a letter and keep it for future complaints. 


If you don't like change, you're going to like becoming irrelevant less. 





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