Product recall: Quality in the manufacturing and packaging process decides
Stricter industry standards and high consumer awareness. Product recalls not only cause financial damage to companies. They also damage their reputation and cause sales figures to drop in the long run. Stricter regulations especially in the pharmaceuticals and food segments as well as rising consumer awareness about product quality in general have brought about innovative solutions for more product safety along the entire value chain.
Recently, confectionary producer Mars Inc. was in the public eye: a piece of plastic had ended up in the chocolate during production at a Dutch plant and was discovered by a customer. Specific batches of MARS®, SNICKERS®, MILKY WAY® and CELEBRATIONS® sweets in more than 50 countries worldwide now fall within the scope of the company’s product recall.
Last year saw Kraft Heinz Company in the USA, to name but one company, recall packs of its separately wrapped cheese slices – after peeling off the film some thin plastic strips remained clinging to the food.
Those designing the entire product cycle from production to retail in a transparent and safe manner should be able to avoid any product recalls. Individual serial numbers are just as helpful here as control mechanisms at decisive transaction points. The pharmaceuticals industry, for instance, has resorted to so-called Track & Trace solutions already for a quarter of a century now, which ensure uninterrupted product identification. Since a baby food scandal in China in 2008 strict provisions have already had some effect: the number of product recalls has declined noticeably. Furthermore, innovative packaging solutions allow counterfeits to be detected fast and a targeted response to be initiated such as blocking individual items.