Risk, Issues & Crisis

March 29, 2017

RecallOptic: What do the findings say?


Initial findings from RecallOptic highlight key areas of weakness in the food and drink industry

Since its official launch in September 2016, 45 organisations have registered to use our new game-changing business resilience tools, CrisisOptic and RecallOptic.

Looking at early reports produced for users of RecallOptic, which measures a business’ ability to respond to a product recall, we are starting to uncover some interesting insights, including key trends and areas of strengths and weaknesses, forming a picture of recall readiness across the food and drink industry in particular.

The average overall preparedness score to date is 70 per cent, with a range from 95 per cent to 57 per cent amongst those completing the assessment.

Governance is the only area with a 100 per cent score, with all those participating agreeing that their recall policy includes a clear and precise commitment to ensure that products which have caused harm, or have the potential to cause harm, are efficiently and effectively removed from the marketplace.

The most prevalent trend was a lack of a defined continuous improvement process which allows the organisation to learn and implement improvements to its system. Such learning could come through live product recalls, training exercises or near misses and it is essential to review, record areas for improvement and then implement them each time.

A big area of weakness is, perhaps surprisingly, that organisations do not have nominated deputies identified in their recall plans for key roles. It’s all very well your technical manager having 25 years’ experience in the business but if he’s on a cruise when the recall hits then he needs an identified and trained deputy to step in…

Companies are also tending to overlook third party support, or are certainly not recording details of labs, specialist communications support and specialised consultants in their recall manuals. It is much better to record their contact details before the recall breaks than try to find them once it is underway.

Worryingly, only half of companies have a process for investigating product incidents or potential problems. This is an urgent area to address and one which should be in every recall plan.

Social media is also often overlooked, both as a potential early-warning system for product issues and as a channel for communicating a product recall. In today’s digital world this is no longer acceptable.

If you are interested in RecallOptic and learning how you can strengthen your product recall management through informed policies, procedures and capabilities, you can register your interest here.

RecallOptic is a secure, online tool which enables companies to self-assess their recall readiness.
It provides an indicator of product recall strengths and weaknesses enabling businesses to quantify readiness against standards including BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (Issue 7) and BRC Global Standards for Consumer Products (Issue 4). It can be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool or as part of an in-depth assessment of your recall readiness incorporating qualitative methods.

Find out more at instinctif.com/optic


Written by Jen Horsman, Consultant, Risk & Crisis