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Supermarkets recall over salmonella fears

Some of Britain’s largest supermarkets issued a recall warning this week after the alarm was raised that they could have unwittingly sold around 17 products containing a deadly bacterium.

Among those to issue an alert were John Lewis, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Morrisons and Spar. All were in relation to a vegetarian diet staple — houmous.

The Food Standards Agency reported that Zorba Delicacies Limited extended the recall of various brands of houmous because the products may be contaminated with salmonella.

Point of sale notices were displayed in all retail stores selling the products, which explained to customers why the products were being recalled and what to do if they had purchased the affected items.

Food contaminations happen often, however they are usually detected before the products reach retailers.

There are a number of variables that affect the quality of a product before it reaches consumers. In Europe, we rely heavily on each other to meet supply and demand of perishable items like poultry, fish and fruit and vegetables.

While there are a number of quality processes in place in different markets including washing and packaging, nothing can be 100 percent perfect all of the time.

We don’t know where the problem started in this instance, however, we will find out soon enough once investigations conclude. Reassuringly, both the supermarkets and the manufacturer/supplier worked together to raise the alarm.

Collaboration during recall is imperative to a successful outcome. The problem with this particular recall is that it is geographically challenging, which makes the process trickier than your average food and drink recalls. Having a protocol in place is key.

Sedgwick's recall teams deal with food recalls every day. We work to protect consumers and brands when a recall is required. Our steadfast approach to recalls includes four key disciplines — prepare, notify, retrieve and resolve.

Our expertise means that we organise everything for our customers, from end to end, to allow them to get on with their day job.

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