Sir: The swift and speedy recall on Sainsbury’s watercress following an outbreak of e-coli is another example of the key ingredient to a successful food recall – preparation.

Sainsbury’s will be acutely aware following the horsemeat scandal that the more prepared a brand is, the less the chance of a recall situation spiralling out of control. You can’t always predict a crisis – but you can identify potential risk areas and put plans in place that enable you to take control and manage an emergency efficiently, giving those who are impacted a positive experience. By communicating clearly and confidently in the appropriate tone of voice, brands have the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and can evoke greater confidence in the consumer by speaking directly and honestly to them. 

While all recalls are potentially dangerous, food recalls present serious consequences due to the far reaching ramifications with people’s health. A well-planned, quick, decisive and speedy response will go a long way to ensuring that any food recall situation is handled successfully. It appears the industry is learning its lessons.

David Pickering, chairman, Eclipse