Contaminated ground beef continues to cause illnesses, three weeks after it was first recalled. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such products should be eaten within a couple days if refrigerated, but although the taste may be affected after a few months, it can be frozen indefinitely. That means that, unlike certain products such as the recent romaine lettuce outbreak, illnesses could continue indefinitely too.
Of course, the primary concern is protecting the public, and no company wants to see its customers fall ill. It is also a concern from a business perspective. These continued illnesses are bound to make headlines, which could result in lawsuits and cause retailers to think twice about stocking the company’s products in the future.
Whenever a food recall is announced, the company in question shouldn’t be complacent even if there are little to no reports of illnesses associated with the products during the early stages of the recall. Not only are new illnesses likely to occur, the symptoms may not begin until days after consumption, and it can take weeks for the illness to be tested and then reported to the authorities.
It is also important to keep in mind that when it comes to food recalls, many brands are well known, especially pantry staples such as canned soups or cereals. Fresh produce and meats, on the other hand, may not come with a label that is instantly recognizable to the average person. Making sure consumers hear about all the new recalls that are issued nearly every day is challenging enough. But in these situations, even if they do hear about it, they won’t necessarily recognize they are affected.
The right recall strategy can minimize these risks. Here are a few tips:
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