It's interesting that on the day Cadbury was all over the media with the news that the salmonella scare had cost it £20m, the Daily Express led with a story on Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda banning "killer" fats in their own label products.
These fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO), are used to provide functional properties in foods, such as regulating hardness and structure. But they are also the source of trans fats, the current bête noir of the doyennes of health.
Now I'm no expert in formulation but the very fact our top supermarket chains are doing this leads me to assume we don't need these fats in our food. Of course, they are only following pioneer Marks and Spencer, which has nearly completed its own HVO removal programme. Director of food Guy Farrant told me he was assured such a move was impossible. Yet he, together with the aforementioned companies, have found a way to achieve it.
It seems to me that this, therefore, is yet another case of retailers taking the lead in delivering the health agenda and meeting consumer expectations. Food manufacturers, on the other hand, appear furtive - hiding behind complicated scientific reasoning that holds no sway with opinion formers and, more importantly, consumers.
Cadbury's handling of the outbreak was misjudged, regardless of whether it followed all the legal requirements. Moreover, such incidents do nothing to help us convince those who buy our products that we have their best interests, rather than our own profit, at heart.
In today's climate we need to be more open and savvy if we are to assure people that this is the trustworthy, progressive industry that I know it is.