Bird flu has hit the headlines once more and it is important that all industries have precautionary measures in place, this is particularly important for those poultry producers and processers and any food business connected with them.
A crisis of any kind be it via a virus, a contamination or pollution, bacteria, chemical or even radiation may have domestic, European or global repercussions for production, customers and supply chains.
Precautionary and planning measures that should be considered are as follows:
• A full Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan should incorporate all major risks and seek to protect against them at vulnerable points within the supply, processing and distribution chain. This should be kept regularly updated to ensure that specific risks are reviewed and protections, as far as possible, included
• A company should have a detailed and up to date crisis management plan, listing key decision makers, experts and responsibilities. This should be regularly reviewed/tested and any recommendations implemented
• The crisis management plan should be linked to a business continuity plan. Are there alternative supply locations for key ingredients? Alternative production facilities?
• Check withdraw/recall insurance policies and terms
• Check contractual terms of supply and distribution agreements
• Health and safety legislation obliges employers to provide a safe as reasonably practicable environment for staff and visitors; suitable risk assessments for employees and other persons affected by the work activities should be carried out and all reasonable precautionary measures implemented
• Keep abreast of new developments – legal, scientific and medical that may affect your product / assist you in protecting against risks and so protecting your customers, consumers and employees and ultimately your business/brand