Navigating Recall Management: The Three Critical Components to Know

Allison Champion
3 min read
February 21, 2024
Modified: February 20, 2024

Picture this: It’s Monday morning your alarm clock blares at 6:00 am. You stumble out of bed and make your way to the kitchen to start your day, which always begins with food.

You’ve come to rely on a particular brand of snack bar to fuel your family—tasty, healthy, and nutritious, the bars serve double duty as a morning meal for adults and a daily addition to the kids’ lunchboxes.

Suddenly, your phone dings with a news alert and a wave of concern washes over you. The very snack bars you’ve just set out have been recalled for a potential allergen to which your kids are susceptible. The trust you placed in that brand, the assurance of safety you felt in serving this product to your family, comes crashing down.

This narrative is familiar to consumers and supply chain managers alike. In 2023, the FDA reported over 200 recalls across the food and beverage industry alone, making them an unfortunate but fairly common occurrence.

And as a logistics leader, you know full well the critical importance of handling a recall efficiently and effectively, which ultimately comes down to having the proper practices, platforms, and personnel in place long before a recall happens. 

Without these pieces in place, your brand could face compliance issues, reputational damage, and lost business from poor recall management—a massive headache to go along with your customers’ upset stomachs.

So let’s dive into the world of recalls and examine how we, as logistics leaders, can best handle the hazards of recall management.

Strict Adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Like with so many things in both life and business, a strong foundation is key to managing challenges that come your way. 

Any brand dealing in products that face the threat of a recall should ensure from the get-go that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for handling and fulfilling your goods are strictly adhered to. 

From receiving and reconciliation to quality checks, picking, and packing, the role of a fulfillment provider in following SOPs cannot be understated. If they’re cutting corners or lack the technology to properly track inventory as it is processed within the warehouse, managing a recall will be exponentially more difficult.

Real-Time Lot Tracking and Inventory Visibility 

Preparation is half the battle in managing recalls. This includes having a comprehensive understanding of your inbound and outbound activities. Unfortunately, not all warehouses provide this level of insight, leaving brands at a disadvantage during a recall.

This is where the need for a robust fulfillment platform with lot tracking and inventory visibility comes into play. Lot tracking is particularly critical for perishable items or those with expiration dates. With Flowspace, brands can access comprehensive lot tracking and reporting capabilities that comply with FDA and ISO regulations. 

It’s like having a real-time map of where your items are stored, including immediate updates on per-lot location and activity in the event of a recall.

Compassionate Communication and Support

The data you get from lot tracking and inventory visibility is only as effective as your team on the ground that’s ready to spring into action when a recall happens. For instance, will your fulfillment partner be available to assist you after hours or over the weekend, or will they leave you waiting until Monday morning, compounding your problem?

It’s essential to ensure that you and your partners are equipped to notify suppliers about a recall, keep relevant regulatory authorities informed, and most importantly, communicate with those downstream about the issue and the necessary actions to take.

Flowspace: Your Partner in Food and Beverage Fulfillment

Recalls can be a regular (and regulatory) reality for food and beverage companies. But with a well-structured plan in place, they don’t have to hurt your business or your reputation.

The procedures, technology, and support we’ve discussed can streamline the recall process so you can best protect your customers and your brand. With our comprehensive fulfillment services specifically designed for the food and beverage industry, Flowspace is committed to supporting you every step of the way. Find out how now.

Written By:

flowspace author Allison Champion

Allison Champion

Allison Champion leads marketing communication at Flowspace, where she works to develop content that addresses the unique challenges facing modern brands in omnichannel eCommerce. She has more than a decade of experience in content development and marketing.

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