How does your product recall plan stack up against the standard?

A product recall can be a “bet the company event”.  Are you confident that your incident management and product recall program can prevent a brand crisis? When was the last time you reviewed it and tested it?

Unfortunately we continue to see even large companies mismanage incidents and product recalls and watch as they escalate into a brand crisis. They seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. Good for me to write case studies about for my training courses but frankly, I’d rather be talking about companies that have managed incidents and product recalls well!

The purpose of the new international standard for product recall – ISO 10393, is to provide guidance to food and consumer goods companies – manufacturers, distributors and retailers, in preparing for and conducting a product recall. Now adopted as national standards in Australia, South Africa and China and under consideration in a number of other countries, it is designed to protect consumers but also to protect businesses and their brands. A product recall can actually have a positive impact on a brand if managed well!

As a member of the working group that wrote the standard – and supported the adoption of the international standard as the Australian standard, I am naturally keen to see companies adopt the standard. It makes good sense for consumers, regulators and the company itself to have a robust incident management and product recall program.

I review dozens of product recall and crisis management plans every year and while many companies have some of the key elements outlined in the standard as part of their plan, few have all – including the key elements that we know can prevent a brand crisis.

In this special report written in partnership with iComplied, I discuss the four key elements that are covered in the standard but are often missing or inadequately covered in most product recall plans – assessment, strategy, communications and measuring effectiveness.

In addition, iComplied and the Recall Institute have partnered to create a free online ISO 10393 product recall checklist on iComplied’s automated compliance platform. A product recall can be a “bet the company” event. 30 minutes is a small investment of your time to ensure you are well covered.


Author: Steve Hather

Steve Hather is Director of The Recall Institute, a specialist product risk, product recall and crisis management training and consulting company. Steve has over 25 years of experience helping some of the world’s best known food and consumer goods companies through to small and medium businesses manage incidents and product recalls and protect their brands. He has trained hundreds of senior executives in incident management, product recall and crisis management.

1 Comment

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