Following the announcement the UK Food Standards Agency recalled two Tesco Chicken Salad products due to possible presence of Campylobacter this week, Nick Miller, associate director, Crimson & Co., said supermarkets should not let complacency take hold.
Chicken from Thailand
The products in question are Tesco Chicken Salad, 160g, 'Use by' date: 12/07/2017 and 13/07/2017; and Tesco Chicken, Broccoli, Almond & Cashew Nut Salad, 315g, 'Use by' date: 12/07/2017 and 13/07/2017.
Both products use chicken from Thailand, according to reports.
“The recalling of two Tesco products reinforces the ongoing challenges retailers face when tackling food safety,” said Miller.
“Despite recent data depicting some drop-in traces of campylobacter, high profile recalls such as this thrust firms back into the spotlight and bring to attention inefficiencies amongst organisations and their supply chains.”
Recently, industry findings have reported that traces of campylobacter found in chicken had seen a decrease in recent years with figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reporting a drop from 50% in 2016 to 48.8% in 2017.
Despite the relatively small figure experts have been quick to welcome the decrease and also praise retailers for addressing industry targets.
Supply chain quality checks
Miller says the recent Tesco recall demonstrates the importance of not letting complacency take hold and encourages firms to look beyond their own organizations and to their suppliers, to ensure they are doing all they can to remove any threats to products.
“Effective supply chain management controls the people, organizations, activities, information and resources that go into moving a product or service from concept to the store shelf,” he added.
“Effectively implemented, that product will be delivered with the right documentation, in the right quantity, at the right quality, to the right place, at the right time.
“While the majority of the big supermarkets will argue their quality assurances given by suppliers are to a satisfactory standard, recalls like those experienced by Tesco reinforces how organizations can’t simply rest on their laurels and therefore must be engaging in continuous ways to remove threats and ensure quality within their supply chain.
“Failure of the supermarkets to take proactive control of their supply chains will lead to them alienating themselves from their customers.
“They need to make sure that they are constantly reviewing processes and making active, continuous steps in improving food safety and quality. Failure to do so could have serious ramifications for a brand.
"In this instance, Tesco were swift in their response, but the potentially deadly nature of bacteria’s such as campylobacter, means shoppers won’t think twice to take their business elsewhere if a brand is perceived to not be doing all it can to protect its customers.”
Campylobacter causes 280,000 cases of food poisoning each year, with four out of five come from contaminated poultry.
Symptoms caused by the bug include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever.
The incubation period between eating contaminated food and the start of symptoms for food poisoning caused by campylobacter is usually between two and five days with symptoms usually lasting less than a week.
Crimson & Co. founded in 2003, is a global management consultancy that specializes in the supply chain. It has offices in London, Atlanta, Mumbai, Melbourne, São Paulo and Singapore.
FoodQualityNews contacted Tesco for a response and is awaiting comment.