(Oct. 16) As produce safety scares seem to pile upon one another, it is laudable that companies are going to great lengths — and cost — to ensure consumer safety and confidence in the food supply.

One such method is initiating a consumer recall as soon as problems become evident.

Despite the short-term pain inflicted upon a company, this clearly is in the best interest of the industry as a whole.

Produce consumption in general stands to suffer if any players in the industry show negligence in identifying and recalling contaminated product. Consumers would come to view the entire produce department — and particularly the value-added section — with trepidation and disdain.

To protect themselves, companies at a bare minimum must carefully review their product liability insurance to make sure it covers the medical expenses of anyone who may become sick. Additionally, it is prudent to have coverage for the enormous costs of a physical recall, including production, packing, shipping and disposal.

Hopefully, consumer recollection of the implicated brands will have a short shelf-life.

Having good insurance, along with a well-thought out recall plan, will help ensure your company remains viable financially and that it retains good standing in the industry and among consumers. Most importantly, it can help keep your products on shelves in the future.