Manufacturers must keep close eye on products…or risk recalls

Birds Eye, the frozen food giant, was the latest big brand to implement a recall. According to the Food Standards Agency, the company recalled "certain batch codes of 50 Chicken Nuggets as they may contain small pieces of plastic".

Birds Eye was apologetic for the issue, telling consumers: "The safety of everyone who enjoys and loves our products is of the utmost importance to us. As soon as we became aware of a potential situation with our chicken nuggets, we immediately investigated and took precautionary action. This particular batch may contain small pieces of clear plastic due to an isolated manufacturing fault and we simply do not want to risk people consuming it."

Unsurprisingly, this issue led to several headlines — although we would argue that this is a positive, as it helps get the message out to as many consumers as possible. That is hugely important, particularly when it comes to food recalls. Unlike, say, automotive recalls, it is incredibly hard for food and drink manufacturers to reach consumers.

Here, people were told to either return the product to the store in which it was purchased or contact Birds Eye directly. The reality is that very few consumers will actually return the product. Most will eat the nuggets as planned without ever knowing there was a recall notice. A small number may even ignore the recall notice entirely.

The likelihood is that only an incredibly small number of products were affected by the issue, but Birds Eye deserves praise for implementing a full recall. At Sedgwick, we firmly believe that recalls do not have to be seen as a negative and can in fact enhance customer loyalty by proving to people that you are willing to put their health and safety ahead of profits.

Of course, avoiding situations like this in the first place has to be the desired outcome. But when the need to implement a recall occurs, there is no need to be frozen in fear – by acting decisively, and with clear planning, businesses can come out of the other side with their reputation intact.

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