No restaurant owner looks forward to a food recall. But when dealing with food, safety and health issues that need to be handled are always present. Not every food and product delivery is going to be perfectly ready for the table. Here are a few tips for how best to handle a food recall.
Review Processes with the Team
Begin preparations before the crisis actually hits by creating a review process team. Let everyone on the team have input and understand how to handle a food recall, should it happen. While it can be difficult to prioritize something that does not seem urgent, planning ahead gives time to eliminate mistakes. Training that is currently in place for new employees should include processes for a food recall. Ongoing training for management should also include action steps to take in response to a potential food recall.
Notify the Proper Authorities
If a food recall event happens, notify the proper authorities immediately. Notification depends on how the issue arises. If a letter or email arrives that notifies the restaurant of a food recall, this step is unnecessary. However, if someone at the restaurant discovers the problem first, then the designated person assigned to notify the authorities will jump into action. This could be the FDA, the FSIS or a similar agency. Some corporate chains will have systems in place to handle this, and those should be utilized when the time arrives.
Track Down What and Where
Take an immediate inventory of all recalled items. Identify all foods that fall under the recall. Tracking down all food information is key. Compile a list in case of an investigation or to help with the recall itself. In some cases, knowledge of storage conditions is necessary. This information is also important to know in case the contamination spreads to other items. This element requires precise organization and documentation of food items within your restaurant.
Clear Out and Clean Up
This is the bulk of work during a food recall. Set aside all recalled items so that proper disposal without additional contamination of other foods occurs. Anything that comes in contact with the recalled food needs to be destroyed. In addition, all shelving and kitchen implements used to clean or move the food should be cleaned and disinfected right away, including storage shelves, counters, containers, cutting boards and employee’s clothes and hands.
One last, but vital step to handle prior to a recall is to have the appropriate liability insurance. In the event of a recall, restaurant insurance will help to cover the costs of clean-up, removal, and replacement of any recalled items. In addition, a well-covered plan has the potential to include any potential legal fees that might arise in the midst of the crisis. Bozzuto Insurance has teams of skilled, experienced agents that can walk any restaurant through the process and craft a plan to meet any set of specifications.
About Bozzuto & Co. Insurance Services, Inc.
Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services has provided business and personal insurance solutions to clients throughout California since its founding in 1981. Our experienced staff understands the unique needs that each person has when insuring their lives and their businesses, and we pride ourselves on our deeply personal customer service. We are happy to help you through every step of the insurance selection process. Contact us today at (800) 400-6394 to learn more about what we can do for you.