• Save
2013 Food Safety Presentation for ConAgra Foods
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

2013 Food Safety Presentation for ConAgra Foods

on

  • 672 views

Attorney Bill Marler's food safety and litigation presentation for ConAgra Foods.

Attorney Bill Marler's food safety and litigation presentation for ConAgra Foods.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
672
Views on SlideShare
672
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

2013 Food Safety Presentation for ConAgra Foods 2013 Food Safety Presentation for ConAgra Foods Presentation Transcript

  • Protecting YourCustomer ISProtecting Yourselfand Your BrandCautionary Tales
  • First off – Something for Free "A stunningly researched work, "Poisoned" reads as though Clarence Darrow had written "The Jungle.” "Just in time for BBQ season, an investigative journalist traces the path of a devastating outbreak of food-borne illness linked to hamburger meat.”
  • Food Production is a Risky Business • Competitive Markets • Stockholder Pressures for Increasing Profits over Long-term Safety • Lack of Clear Reward For Marketing and Practicing Food Safety • Brand Awareness Risks
  • Social Media: It’s a new world“Social media properties allow consumers to askfor brand accountability in the same venue thatbrand is using to promote itself.” – Justin KistnerInformation is out there inreal time and everyone hasaccess:• Customers• Plaintiffs’ lawyers• Government
  • Are You Ready?Social Media Managers should be prepared:• Practice responding to disgruntled customers• Run potential responses past your legal team• Try not to use ―canned‖ responses—but have them ready if you need them• Acknowledge customer concerns or complaints publicly, then: – Redirect conversations outside of social media channels if necessary (i.e. send to legal) – Escalate urgent questions/issues so they are addressed by the appropriate person, not the social media manager
  • Information at your customers’fingertips Consumers expect engagement with a person—especially during a recall • Which lot numbers/UPC codes/expiration dates • Which stores sold recalled products • Where (geographically) were products distributed Don’t expect them to find your recall notice. Respond to each request for information.
  • Setting Expectations: Be ProactiveIs your social media profile staffed 24/7?• Does it need to be? – Staff your profiles when they’re most active – Let your fans/followers know how long they should expect to wait for a response (but make a point of responding faster)• If there are reasons why you can’t or won’t respond to messages of a certain nature publicly on your page, tell your fans/followers up front.
  • It is a Global Food Economy
  • To Put Things in Perspective • Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 48 million cases of human illness annually in the United States • 125,000 hospitalized • Cause up to 3,000 deaths
  • Strict Product Liability • Strict Liability – Are you a manufacturer? – Was the product unsafe? – Did product cause injury? • Negligence • Punitive Damages /Criminal Liability – Are you a product seller? – Did you act with conscious disregard – Did you act ―reasonably‖? of a known safety risk?
  • Who is a Manufacturer? A “manufacturer” is defined as a “product seller who designs, produces, makes, fabricates, constructs, or remanufactures the relevant product or component part of a product before its sale to a user or consumer.” RCW 7.72.010(2); see also Washburn v. Beatt Equipment Co., 120 Wn.2d 246 (1992)
  • It’s called STRICT Liability for a Reason • The only defense is prevention • It does not matter if you took all reasonable precautions • If you manufacture a product that makes someone sick you are going to pay • Wishful thinking does not help
  • Pathway of a Foodborne IllnessInvestigation
  • Pathway of a Foodborne IllnessInvestigation If there are more ill persons than expected, an OUTBREAK might be underway.
  • Pathway of a Foodborne IllnessInvestigation
  • Investigative Partners • Laboratory investigators – Microbiologic diagnosis – Virology/Parasitic Labs – Molecular analysis • Epidemiologic investigators – Individual case interviews – Outbreak investigation • Cohort studies • Case/control studies • Environmental investigators – Facility investigation – Environmental sampling – Product traceback
  • Epidemiology–Basic Tools of the TradeReal-time interviewing with a broad-basedexposure questionnaire • Symptoms • Incubation • Duration • Food History • Medical Attention • Suspected source • Others Ill
  • Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE)A Powerful Outbreak Detection Tool • Process separates chromosomal fragments of intact bacterial genomic DNA grown from patient isolate • Genetic relatedness among strains is based on similarities of the DNA patterns • Outbreak strains are those that are epidemiologically linked AND genetically linked
  • Questions to Consider in AssessingPFGE Clusters• How common is the PFGE subtype?• How many cases are there?• Over what time frame did cases occur?• What is the geographic distribution of cases?• What are the case demographics?• Do any of the cases have a ―red flag‖ exposure?
  • An Example of Outbreak Detection September 27, 2005 • Three E. coli O157:H7 isolates with indistinguishable PFGE patterns identified by Minnesota Public Health Laboratory • PFGE pattern new in Minnesota, rare in United States – 0.35% of patterns in National Database • Patients reported eating prepackaged salad; no other potential common exposures evident
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associatedwith Dole Prepackaged Lettuce 7Number of Cases 6 5 4 3 2 Initial cluster of 3 isolates among MN residents 1 identified. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • Outbreak Investigation - Methods September 28–29, 2005 • Additional O157 isolates received at the MDOH and subtyped by PFGE – 7 isolates demonstrated outbreak PFGE subtype • Supplemental interview form created • Case-control study initiated
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associatedwith Dole Prepackaged Lettuce 7Number of Cases 6 5 4 Case-control study initiated. 3 2 Initial cluster of 3 isolates among MN residents 1 identified. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associatedwith Dole Prepackaged Lettuce 7Number of Cases 6 5 Case-control study implicated Dole salad. 4 Case-control study initiated. 3 2 Initial cluster of 3 isolates among MN residents 1 identified. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associatedwith Dole Prepackaged Lettuce CDC, FDA notified. 7Number of Cases 6 5 Case-control study implicated Dole salad. 4 Case-control study initiated. 3 2 Initial cluster of 3 isolates among MN residents 1 identified. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associatedwith Dole Prepackaged Lettuce CDC, FDA notified. 7Number of Cases 6 5 Case-control study implicated Dole salad. 4 Case-control study initiated. 3 2 Initial cluster of 3 isolates among MN residents 1 identified. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • E. coli O157:H7 Cases Associated withDole Prepackaged Lettuce (N=26) Minnesota Additional statesNumber of Cases 7 6 5 OR 4 3 2 WI 1 WI 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 September October Date of Onset 2005
  • Dole Classic Romaine Salad Recoveredfrom Case-Households Shared common "Best if Used By” Date and production code
  • Product Traceback • Single processing plant (Soledad, CA) • Production Date of September 7, 2005 • Lettuce harvested from any 1 of 7 fields
  • PFGE Patterns of E. coli O157:H7Isolates from Lettuce Source Initial Minnesota Case-patient Classic Romaine Bag #1 Classic Romaine Bag #2
  • What we all want to Avoid
  • Litigation as Incentive – 20 Years Later Odwalla Jack in the Box
  • Worthless Excuse No. 1 “I never read the memo.” • If a document contains damning information, the jury will assume you read it, understood it, and ignored it
  • It Can Happen to You, Too • On June 30, 2002, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall of 354,200 pounds of ground beef manufactured at the ConAgra Beef Company plant in Greeley, Colorado. • The contaminated ground beef was produced at the plant on May 31, thirty days prior to the recall, and was distributed nationally to retailers and institutions. • E. coli O157:H7 was found at the Greeley slaughterhouse on May 9, 2002, yet they apparently did nothing with this information. • Over 19 Million Pounds of meat recalled. • More than 40 sickened, 5 HUS and 1 Death.
  • And Again• Peter Pan and Great Value Brands Peanut Butter• 714 Salmonella Tennessee culture- positive illnesses from 44 states• 71 hospitalized• Illnesses reported 2005 to late 2007• Multiple Jars Tested Positive
  • And Again • Between January 1, 2007 and October 29, 2007, at least 272 isolates of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- with an indistinguishable genetic fingerprint have been collected from ill persons in 35 states. • At least 65 people hospitalized. • CDC coordinated a case-control study designed to identify the source of these infections. • Eating a Banquet brand pot pie was significantly associated with illness. Three patients’ pot pies have yielded Salmonella I4,[5],12:i:- isolates with a genetic fingerprint indistinguishable from the outbreak pattern.
  • And Again• By August 27, 2010 44 individuals infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Chester have been reported from 18 states since April 11, 2010.• 16 were hospitalized.• On June 17, 2010, ConAgra Foods announced a precautionary recall of Marie Callenders Cheesy Chicken & Rice single-serve frozen entrées after being informed by the CDC of a possible association between this product and the outbreak of Salmonella Chester infections.
  • Things are Different Today
  • It Started with just a Little Salmonella • 714 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported from 46 states.. Additionally, one ill person was reported from Canada. • Among the persons with confirmed, reported dates available, illnesses began between September 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009. Patients ranged in age from <1 to 98 years. The median age of patients was 16 years which means that half of ill persons were younger than 16 years. 21% were age <5 years, 17% were >59 years. 48% of patients were female. Among persons with available information, 24% reported being hospitalized. • Nine deaths: Idaho (1), Minnesota (3), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), and Virginia (2).
  • Then there were Congressional Hearings• “Turn them loose,” Parnell had told his plant manager in an internal e-mail disclosed at the House hearing. The e- mail referred to products that once were deemed contaminated but were cleared in a second test last year.• Parnell ordered products identified with salmonella to be shipped and quoting his complaints that tests discovering the contaminated food were “costing us huge $$$$$.”• Parnell insisted that the outbreak did not start at his plant, calling that a misunderstanding by the media and public health officials. “No salmonella has been found anywhere else in our products, or in our plants, or in any unopened containers of our product.”• Parnell complained to a worker after they notified him that salmonella had been found in more products. “I go thru this about once a week,” he wrote in a June 2008 e-mail. “I will hold my breath ………. again.”
  • Now a 76 Count Federal Indictment• Stewart Parnell, the former • Allegations Include: owner of Peanut Corp. of • Mail Fraud America • Wire Fraud• Michael Parnell, who is • Introduction of Adulterated Stewart Parnell’s brother and Misbranded Food into and a former supervisor Interstate Commerce with• Samuel Lightsey, a onetime Intent to Defraud or plant operator Mislead• Mary Wilkerson, a former • Conspiracy quality-assurance manager• Daniel Kilgore, plant manager (has already entered a guilty plea
  • What the Future Holds - Marler said:• “These charges will make other food executives take notice.• “In 20 years, this is the first time I’ve seen a criminal indictment of this magnitude, however, I have also been contacted by federal law-enforcement officials investigating a 2010 salmonella outbreak linked to eggs from Iowa and a 2011 Colorado listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes.”• “These indictments will have a far reaching impact on the food industry.”• “Corporate executives and directors of food safety will need to think hard about the safety of their product when it enters the stream of commerce. Felony counts like this one are rare, but misdemeanor charges that can include fines and jail time can and should happen.”• “If I were an executive of a company, today I’d be asking my lawyers, how does this not happen to me?”
  • Even Comedians Like Safe Food
  • Planning AGAINST Litigation –What Is Really Important • Identify Hazards – HACCP – Do you have qualified and committed people? • What is the Culture? • Involve Vendors and Suppliers – Do they really have a plan? – Ever visit them?
  • Planning AGAINST Litigation –Establish RelationshipsThey are your best friends!
  • Lessons Learned From LitigationYou can insure the brand’s and the company’sreputation 1. Arm yourself with good, current information 2. Since you have a choice between doing nothing or being proactive, be proactive 3. Make food safety part of everything you, your suppliers and customers do 4. Treat your customers with respect
  • Questions