Guest Column | August 22, 2017

Would Your Food Safety Plans Survive In Court?

Would Your Food Safety Plans Survive In Court?

By Shawn Stevens, FoodIndustry Counsel

Few things are certain in life — something that is definite, constant, and unavoidable. Growing up, we were told not to make decisions based on what other people would think; however, as an adult, the decisions we make are on a much larger scale. Our decisions affect the lives of others, not just ourselves. Nowhere is this truer than in the arena of food safety.

Every food processor wants to believe they are producing the safest food possible. Still, at some point in your career, you may face (or maybe already have been faced) a food safety issue and a corresponding decision of whether to hold or distribute a product. Before you are quick to answer with a “yes,” because you believe your food safety process is maintained at the highest of standards, remember you are your company. Should a recall result, you will be held responsible for your own decisions and actions, and possibly each of your employees’ decisions and actions. Can you be certain every employee has made the best food safety decisions every time they were faced with one? Can you support this with actual data? If the answer is “no,” ask yourself another question: “Do you want to be sitting in front of a jury relying on only upon a belief that your company produced the food at issue to the highest possible standards?”