Letter to The Editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper
Published on 8 July 1999
Hospitality learns from Coca-Cola
Myrtle Allens letter (Caterer, 10 June, page 20) rightly points out that "the real cause of salmonella poisoning ... comes from the production system" but laments the fact that "chefs get the blame". Could Ford insist on selling cars with erratic hydraulic brakes and then blame the component suppliers? Theyd just have to buy some safer hydraulic brakes or source another type of brake. Restaurants should use safe eggs safe fresh ones if they can find them, but safe pasteurised ones if they cannot.
The hospitality industry must learn from Coca-Colas mismanagement of its Belgian crisis. The firm tried to lay the blame its suppliers and attempts to explain the health scare surrounding contaminated Coke were belated, government-driven and unconvincing.
Even the best-laid food safety plans can go awry but trying to wriggle out of responsibility will only turn a crisis into a disaster. It is vital that all hospitality firms not only seek to avoid risk but also prepare fully thought out crisis management contingency plans. Customer concern can only be allayed through complete transparency. Firms must immediately come clean and publicly take it on the chin, say exactly what happened and furthermore announce what they propose to do.
Also see previous related letter Published on 13 May 1999
No Excuses Over Eggs