E. coli outbreak in Germany – product recall in the spotlight
The latest E. Coli outbreak in spreading outward from Germany is setting records with over 1500 people infected and at least 17 dead from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a complication of the infection that causes kidney failure. Reported treatment of the condition with antibiotics is also causing consternation among members of the public health community who advise that the only treatment is rest and liquids to keep the kidneys healthy.
The culprit is still unclear and a variety of vegetables from varying countries are being removed from store shelves and destroyed. Other crops will never get to market and rot in the food supply chain. Financial losses will be felt by farmers, brokers, distributors and retailers. The only protection against financial loss is the purchase of appropriate Product Recall Insurance. Alongside adequate coverage is the need for well-designed and rehearsed contingency plans to determine decision-making trees and crisis management. Companies should also exchange information with trading partners about respective product recall plans in order to increase the likely effectiveness of such plans.
About the Author
Phil Edmundson is the Chairman and CEO of William Gallagher Associates (WGA), insurance brokers and consultants for businesses with over 30 years in the insurance industry. He manages strategy, talent acquisition and development, and management / acquisitions at WGA.