The Consequences of Outbreaks and Recalls
It can take hundreds-of-thousands, even millions of dollars, to reopen following an outbreak.
The USDA and FDA have begun aggressively pursuing enforcement initiatives intended to reduce outbreaks and hold companies accountable, regardless of whether the company knowingly committed any wrongdoing. In pursuit of its objectives, the FDA has begun:
- intensive pathogen sampling at the retail level
- conducting microbiological profiling (so-called “swab-a-thons”) of food processing facilities during routine inspections
- pursuing criminal investigations against regulated-entities whose products are implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness
There are numerous direct and immediate costs associated with any outbreak and food product recall. At the most severe, they may include orders from regulatory authorities withdrawing registrations and ordering a food company to cease production.
Listeria outbreaks have occurred in every market and are thoroughly reported by the CDC. Please reference the links below for more information on a handful of common household foods categories.