What to Do if Your Produce is Part of an Ag Recall, Part 1

Take a cue from Duda Farms and follow their plan for an ag recall.

 

No farmer wants to hear that his or her crop is the focus of an ag recall, but it happens. How the agribusiness responds to it is of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to how it affects the farm as an agribusiness. An article on GrowingProduce.com shares that the ag recall response plan a farm put together as a requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) likely won’t cut mustard when it comes to being helpful, so they tapped Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a family farm company with farms in both Florida and California, to share their response steps. See them below.

Response Steps for an Ag Recall

 

Duda Farms actually runs mock ag recalls, just as you would do fire drills, so that everyone is prepared and knows their roles. These are the steps they outlined in the article:

  1. “Identify, isolate, and stop all sales of affected produce.First things first: halt the produce from moving further through the distribution chain.”
  2. “Initiate fact-finding.This is where all your hard work to document every touch point with your produce will pay off. Have a plan in place on exactly which documents you will need, and where the information is stored.”
  3. “Communicate with FDA.Take a look at the FDA’s guidance on which details to share with the agency.”
  4. “Update employees. They will need to understand what is happening and how you will be dealing with the recall.”
  5. “Keep the team briefed.As each person on your recall team follows through on his or her task, they should keep you informed of their progress and of any issues that they run into. You, in turn, should keep everyone informed of what has been done and what hasn’t. Communication can break down easily during a crisis, leading to errors being made.”
  6. “Send your instructions for returning the contaminated produceor destroying it in accordance with FSMA rules to all involved.”
  7. “Communicate with the public.If public health is at risk, you’ll want to brief elected officials and create a news release to post to your website and social media. The FDA has sample press releases you can use. Take a look at the one for salmonella at: http://bit.ly/2u98ERo.”
  8. “Handle the media.Be prepared with statements for media inquiries and designate someone to give interviews if the recall reaches that level of awareness.”
  9. “Conduct effectiveness checksto verify your produce was removed from the marketplace, detained, and isolated.”
  10. “Determine that the produce is properly disposed.”

See part 2 for a Q & A that could answer any other questions you have.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.