Alchemy Academy no longer supports Internet Explorer 11, preventing you from accessing certain features. Download one of these great browsers and you’ll be good to go:

Posted on

Food Safety Crisis Management 101

Food Safety

In the latter half of 2020 alone, three multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks are sweeping the food industry. According to the CDC, 72 people have reported illness to date. In fact, since 2017, E. coli found in romaine lettuce has haunted the produce industry (particularly the leafy green industry), with multiple outbreaks occurring in the fall and winter each year.

Despite its ubiquity, many facilities are not prepared to handle foodborne illness outbreaks. Nevertheless, a full and accurate context of crisis management planning and proceedings is essential to deftly and successfully maneuver through a foodborne illness outbreak. Industry leadership juggling consumer demands for more convenient and higher quality products, complex supply chains, and government regulations may not fully understand the multifaceted decision-making process that arises during a potential foodborne illness outbreak.

A food safety crisis could lead to lost revenue, increased turnover, negative brand publicity, temporary closures, lost wages for staff, lawsuits, and more. Proper planning can help organizations avoid or lessen the impacts of a food crisis.

What is food safety crisis management?

A crisis plan for food safety incidents helps your organization’s key players know what actions to take once an incident occurs. While this plan goes beyond Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and risk mitigation strategies, they are both integral parts of your food safety system.

Crisis management should include, but is not limited to:

  • Pinpoint possible crises, developing a plan of action for each
  • Identify those individuals who will manage the crisis and communicate this team of individuals to all employees
  • Define each step to be taken during a crisis, including how to communicate with media and interact with regulatory bodies
  • Train key players early and often
    Create a positive food safety culture across teams
  • Continually review your crisis plan to determine if updates or changes as needed

Resources for Preparing Your Crisis Management Plan

Alchemy Academy and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) have developed a new choose-your-adventure style crisis management simulation for produce industry professionals and beyond. Food Safety Crisis Management Simulation puts learners directly into the shoes of a produce industry CEO and President tasked with managing a foodborne illness outbreak in their facility. Participants build a new food safety knowledge base and have access to practical crisis management resources for their operation. Join the waitlist today!


How to Improve Performance with Inclusive Leadership

Diversity is all around us. Whether we’re on the processing floor or resigned to watching television in our living rooms, inclusivity has risen to the forefront of the world stage. As such, companies have come to depend on diverse voices and capabilities as they seek success and competitive advantage. But simply having culturally diverse members […]

Read More

Six Core Competencies of Leadership

Chances are you’re starting this year intent on making it your best year ever. Maybe you’ve resolved to lose 20 pounds, take up the banjo, or accomplish any other goal you’ve long dreamed of checking off. Achieving these personal goals is, as they say, “all you,” but how does the “best you” translate to the […]

Read More
crisis management simulation

Food Safety Crisis Management Simulation: A New Way to Train

Around the world, food safety has transformed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the edge of a hopeful new year, crisis management planning has risen to the forefront of the food industry. Businesses know that a plan must be in a place that dictates how they will respond to critical situations that could […]

Read More