Ingredients issues for Mars force recall

The latest high profile Salmonella recall to hit main media headlines has been for Mars chocolates, who has issued a recall for Galaxy, Malteasers Teasers and Minstrels from batches produced at the company’s Slough production base. Customers who have purchased the products with a best-before date of 6-May 2018 and 13-May 2018 are advised to call the customer service team for returns and reimbursement. Insisting that the recall was made on a “precautionary” basis, the Food Standards Agency emphasizes that the recall has been made for a small number of products, no more than 3,000 units in total.

Although no further information is available at this time concerning which ingredients were found to potentially contaminated, this recall highlights yet again the importance of due diligence in regards to sterilisation for ingredients sourced internationally. Particularly for dry ingredients such as spices, the contamination rates of product after harvesting and in storage are often much higher than would be seen in other countries due to a lack of appropriate facilities and resources to ensure safety on the ground. Once in the presence of water, spoiling organisms that were otherwise dormant can then present a real problem in the final product.

One of the key considerations following a recall is the reception and public relations impact of the news among the wider public. Certainly, recalls are costly in terms of the bottom line for the business, but the potential fall-out of a series of missed contaminated products is harder to calculate in terms of lost faith and changes in consumer habits over a period of time. It certainly takes longer to reverse than to prevent!

To have a conversation with the team about process validation, sterilising and pasteurising technology or new product development, get in touch on 01780 749097.

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