Bad Taste: When Manufacturers Horse Around
Here’s what happened: A supplier to Findus Frozen Foods was accused of substituting horse meat for beef in products that ended up in Findus Lasagna Frozen Food. Was the horse meat harmful to the consumer? Not really. Was it harmful to the Findus brand? Oh, heck yes! They published a public apology in the national press, and since the story broke, their parent company’s stock price has seen a steady decline. And, this may just be the tip of the iceberg, as the FSA (Food Standards Administration) is now investigating multiple companies for similar issues.
Findus correctly sited one of the issues contributing to this problem was that the supply chain had become “far too complex.” In a competitive world of tight margins, firms are now sourcing ingredients from multiple suppliers in multiple countries. Today manufacturers still need to be vigilant to avoid harming consumers, or as in this case harming their own brand credibility.
For me, I treat this as “All Things Food Safety.” Our mantra is “Do No Harm,” and part of that is helping manufacturers have the systems in place to ensure supplier accountability as well as retailer compliance for quality and safety of products manufactured. At the end of the day its my family and your family that could be harmed, so its better to help the industry improve for all our sakes!!