Food and Drink

Frozen food sector warned against listeria outbreak

UK retailers and suppliers have been advised to protect their businesses as a dozen more frozen food products feel the impact of recent listeria outbreak.

A European-wide warning issued by the Food Standards Authority (FSA) has already resulted in a major recall of big-name supermarkets selling frozen food, meaning products are being recalled over the weekend.

According to Kiran Nayee, JLT Specialty’s head of product recall, these events can have an “enormous impact” on the food industry as they can result in retailers and suppliers struggling to “fulfill contracts and keep customers onside”.

She also said there is a “very real possibility” of suppliers losing contracts due to the incident and that “the financial impact of this could be catastrophic on their business”, referring to the impact in lost revenue and profits as a result of business interruption throughout the supply chain.

She added: “It is essential that industry leaders and associations in the sector prioritise product recall events by encouraging individual companies to think not only about the impact on their own operations, but also how they would protect their business if it were affected by a contamination event in the supply chain.

“Companies in the food sector usually work with a complex framework of multiple suppliers and customers, but the very integrated nature of these agreements creates interwoven liabilities and exposures. With hygiene and safety standards increasing and product and regulatory scrutiny becoming more stringent, I think it is likely that more retailers will demand suppliers have robust product recall insurance in place if they want to work in partnership.

“Not only will this create financial security, but from a business perspective, make them more attractive when dealing with larger retailers.”

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