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Product Recall

Updated on September 26, 2012

When nasty things appear in your food.

Poison pet food. Faulty car brakes. Flammable fans.

If a customer found a potentially lethal problem with your product, would you want to know?

If so, how badly?

One might think such information would be highly prized.

But is it?

Paul Hassing avatar photo
Paul Hassing avatar photo

Waiter, there's a BOMB in my soup!

Six months ago I opened a pack of sliced almonds.

Inside was a big gob of what looked like machine grease.

I emailed the manufacturer. Two weeks later, they emailed an apology for the delay and asked me to post the pack.

As I did, I wondered if more gobs had reached other consumers during this interval.

Three weeks later, a peace parcel arrived.

The letter thanked me for my help, confirmed that the gob was grease and advised that the process workers on the offending line had been reprimanded.

I wondered if these workers shared my view that the problem lay further up the food chain - with the machine maintenance staff.

If they did, they probably weren't too chipper as they filled and checked the replacement pack of almonds and sample pack of dried fruit also present in my parcel.

Filled with scepticism, I reluctantly binned these offerings.

Also in the parcel was a $10 grocery voucher.

I felt this was scant compensation for the time I'd spent.

And what if I'd blithely tipped the tainted nuts into my wok?

The grease would've melted over my snow peas in a trice.

I emailed the company to say I considered $10 a bit 'thin'.

They've not replied.

In Paul's Fantasy World, my first email would've triggered an instant phone call from the CEO.

After profusely apologising for my horrid experience, she'd have diplomatically asked how many thousands of dollars I considered appropriate reward for my information.

Crazy, I know.

But really, what's a few grand compared to the cost of product recalls, litigation, compensation and brand annihilation that would stem from consumer illness or death?

And what if I were a vengeful soul who chose to name the company? [THERE'S NO LINK; I'M JUST KIDDING.]

Am I justified or a crank?

If you were the sliced almond CEO, what price (if any) would you have put on my discovery?

And would you pay likewise for a similar heads up on your own product or service?

I'd love to know.

Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

What do YOU think?

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    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Tipi. As always, you are so encouraging! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      How nice that they acknowledged you at all, but "thin".....we know you are not a crank....Nutz, yes.....but never a crank!

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: I certainly hope so! But, by then it may have been too late!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      The image of grease melting on your snow peas was just too funny. I imagine you'd have noticed the taste?

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @sirkeystone lm: Thank you, James. You are one of the most value-adding commenters I've come across. I greatly appreciate your time and effort. :)

    • sirkeystone lm profile image

      sirkeystone lm 7 years ago

      As my son and father-in-law both work in maintenance (at separate factories but both are food related) I can appreciate all of this. Here the EPA regulates fairly strictly, but probably not strict enough. Things happen even in the best of situations, but Rick Allen or the late Don Tyson would not be where they are financially if they had bowed down to every request for action.

      Nice idea though.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @adamnrave: I recall all your comments too. Each evening before three tiers of votive candles. Your interest is heaven sent! :)

    • profile image

      adamnrave 7 years ago

      Another beaut story. I'm recalling all my Squidoo comments. Keep the stories coming though.