SEASIDE, Calif. – Recalls are a fact of doing business and companies that want to survive need to be prepared, said a panel of experts May 27 during United Fresh Produce Association’s training on product recalls.
       
The three-day conference is the fifth the Washington, D.C. - based association has held since 2007. It is the first in the Salinas Valley area and more than 40 people attended. The training focused on how companies can minimize their legal liability and be prepared for a recall with a crisis management team.
       
“You don’t have to do anything wrong to get into a recall,” said David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology for United Fresh.
       
John Liu, U.S. Food and Drug Administration consumer safety officer based in San Francisco, said the FDA is primarily concerned with protecting consumers from harm during a recall and working with produce companies to quickly collect the recalled product.
       
“Preparation really is everything,” Liu said
       
FDA uses three different classes of recalls and even though the agency can seize or detain adulterated product, Liu said FDA prefers businesses initiative a voluntary recall to save time securing problem products.