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How Restaurants Should Handle a Recall

Feb 13, 2020

How Restaurants Should Handle a Recall How Restaurants Should Handle a Recall

For restaurants, having a recall set in motion can be one of the most--if not the most--devastating things that can happen to it. No matter the size of the restaurant or brand name status, a recall can completely sink consumer confidence and open the door to plenty of financial, legal, and reputational risks.

Last year, fast casual Mexican food companies Taco Bell and Chipotle were hit with recalls in regards to the beef they were using. Consumers were hit with stomach sickness issues before bringing costly claims against the chains. Fortunately, for any and all restaurants, there are steps that can be taken to prevent these problems from happening and cut down on financial risks.

Sanitize the Kitchen

While the damage may already be done after a recall has been implemented, a restaurant can still take steps to cut down on the potential for more issues related to the recall. One way is to sanitize the kitchen and all its components. While this should be a practice every day, going above and beyond to make sure everything is extra clean should be taken into consideration. After a recall, sanitizing will require a more calculated approach to thoroughly clean everything.

Working with Insurance Coverage

All restaurants should be operating with restaurant insurance for this very reason. Having restaurant insurance will protect an establishment in the event of a recall or claim related to a recall. After something like this is made public, a restaurant has only a limited time to act and take the right steps to make sure they are covered. This kind of protection will provide coverage when it comes to legal resources and payouts for claims.

Storing Food

After a recall, any affected items should be removed from inventory and placed in a secure location, away from food, equipment, utensils, single-use items or linens. Also, it’s important to make sure to wash and clean cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to serve or store potentially contaminated products.

Expired Items

To err on the side of extra caution, it should be noted that all staff should be informed to not use the affected products. A communications plan should be implemented so that employees can explain to customers how the restaurant has responded to an outbreak or recall and is addressing the issue. This will help to add credibility and responsibility to a restaurant.

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