3 Lessons from 2016’s Biggest Recalls (Part 1)

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The only good thing about recalls is that other food companies can learn from the mistakes of others. We’ve written before about the huge impact of recalls on the entire industry, let alone the general public. But 2016 was a fascinating year for learning, so we’ve put together a closer look at some of the biggest recalls of the year (mostly in the US and Canada) and how you can avoid repeating history. Stay tuned for part two and three of this series!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm: Minimize Impact of Recalls with a Quick Response

Lessons from Mars and National Steak and Poultry

The logistics of managing a recall in 55 countries is not to be underestimated, but Mars pulled it off after after a consumer in Germany reported finding a piece of plastic in a Snicker’s Bar. Mars was able to narrow the scope of the recall, if not geographically, then by timeline and source: only products produced by a particular facility in the Netherlands between December 5th, 2015 and January 18th, 2016 were affected.

Mars officials said that they believed the incident to be isolated and touted the recall as precautionary. Though the costs were estimated by some experts to be in the millions (due to logistics of the recall, PR impact, potential legal costs, and potential lost sales and stock), another expert found that, “Whilst there will be a noticeable decrease in sales due to the Mars recall and reduced stock listings in the short-term, any Mars decline is likely to be temporary and less steep than many people believe. Barring any more troublesome revelations, Mars has quickly and effectively nipped this in the bud.”

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