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A food safety crisis is every food business’s worst nightmare. This doesn’t just happen small family businesses and cheap takeaway stores, a food safety crisis can happen to national and global businesses as well. If you are a business owner who has found themselves in the mists of a food safety crisis this article can provide some advice on how it can be managed and what you can do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

What are the common food safety crisises businesses face?

A food safety crisis doesn’t necessarily mean a massive outbreak of foodborne illness where hundreds of people end up in hospital. While this does happen, it is the very worst case scenario. Some more common cases of food safety crisises are caused by undeclared allergenscontaminated foods which can lead to listeria infection or regulation infringements.

How does a business go about addressing the issue in a way that will limit the damage?

1. Remove the danger
No matter what has caused the food safety crisis your first call of duty is to remove the danger. This might be contaminated food, pest infestations, or incompetent staff.

2. Solidify Your Message
Once the danger is removed you need to consider your messaging. It is important to focus on making sure it is clear and consistent. The tone and wording will depend on the specifics of the situation. Be honest, authentic and apologetic when addressing the issue but also be firm about what changes will be made to address the problem going forward. The goal is to be as transparent as possible in order to regain the public trust.

3. Work with the media to spread your message
Nothing scares customers away like whispers of food safety infringements. If word has got out about a food safety infringement in your business you need to address the issue head on. Saying ‘no comment’ or ignoring the problem will only make things worse. Provide quotes to media outlets and use your internet platforms to explain the situation from your point of view.

4. Communicate with customers online
Facebook and Google reviews can be extremely helpful when positive but catastrophic when negative. If you are receiving backlash online it is important to stay calm. Do not ignore these comments but respond accordingly. Apologise directly and ensure your customers of the improvements you are making. If it is possible, use these channels to demonstrate evidence of food safety compliance.

How can businesses prevent this problem from happening again in the future?

If your business makes it through a food safety crisis you are one of the lucky ones. Don’t take this second chance for granted. It’s time to take food safety seriously. Squizify is your one-stop shop to taking care of all food safety areas of your business. Let’s be honest, if you had Squizify this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Let us help you with food safety so you can focus on getting the rest of the business back on its feet.