E. Coli Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1131 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business


According to the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health and the Washington State Department of Health: in October 1996, an outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 was found to have been caused by unpasteurized apple juice. The apple juice was sold under the brand name of Odwalla through retail outlets such as a coffee shop chain, grocery stores and other locations.

"Twelve children who had consumed the contaminated apple juice developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) secondary to E. coli infections and suffered kidney failure and other complications." (Odwalla 1996)

Upon discovery of the sometimes fatal infection, the company immediately took a number of steps to protect consumers, as well as the company's bottom line. The company ordered a complete recall of all products containing apple or carrot juice.

"This recall covered around 4,600 retail outlets in seven states. Internal task teams were formed and mobilized, and the recall - costing around $6.5 million was completed within 48 hours." (Companies 2005).

This particular step was a response that was exactly what was needed. The company did not shirk their responsibility, accepted the fact that it was the company's fault, expressed regret to the families affected while at the same time informing them that the company would pay all medical costs. This response ensured that the public perception of the company was that the company was doing everything it could do to make things right.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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"On all media interviews, Williamson expressed sympathy and regret for all those affected

This, allied to the prompt and comprehensive recall, went a long way towards satisfying customers that the company was doing all it could." (Companies 2005).

When this type of event takes place, the first response by the company involved is of critical importance. When Odwalla's CEO Stephen Williamson responded he did so with sincerity and sympathy that was quite notable.

Term Paper on E. Coli Assignment

Not only was the recall handled in a professional and timely manner, but Williamson also initiated other reforms that were just as timely and they proved quite effective in the long run as well.

"The company is considering some form of heat treatment to kill bacteria while maintaining integrity and optimal nutritional content of the fresh apple juice, producing a safe product that is in keeping with the company's vision of producing nourishing beverages." (Companies 2005)

This method of cleansing the product in order to kill the bacteria is a costly venture and portrays the company's commitment to not only repairing the harm it had caused initially, but also its commitment to not having to respond to such an event ever again. The company also made a promise to be a leader in the industry in regards to solving the complex E.coli 0157:H7 problem.

"The company has created the Odwalla Nourishment and Food Safety Advisory Council, of which two members, Dr. 'Nick' Nickelson and Dr. Michael Doyle, participated." (Half Moon 1996).

According to the company's press release detailing the foundation, Nickelson is founder and president of Red mesa Microbiology, a consulting company specializing in food quality and safety, while Doyle is a professor of food microbiology and director of Georgia's Department of Food Science and Technology.

Nickelson stated, "We now know that E. coli O157:H7 is a hazard in fresh apple juice. We are not looking for a single step, we're looking for a process. Odwalla's program should serve as a model for the entire fresh apple juice industry."… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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