Scenarios for testing your crisis management plan

The majority of food safety GFSI standards require that you test your crisis management plan. The reason that we want to test the system, is to make sure if an event actually happens, you will be as prepared as possible.




Episode 11 of HACCP Mentor Review

00:00 – This episode of HACCP Mentor

00:30 – Your suppliers and your success

01:08 – Frequency of Refresher Training

01:45 – Listeria monocytogenes Food Recalls

02:18 – Testing your crisis management plan

03:34 – Cruise Ships and Illness

04:05 – Action Item – Storage of Cleaning Equipment

04:26 – Thanks for your comments





Hi, I am Amanda Evans and welcome to episode 11 for 2013 of HACCP Mentor Review. In this episode we will cover your suppliers contribution to your business success, frequency of refresher training, cleaning equipment storage, different scenarios for testing your crisis management plan and why I have never been on a holiday on a cruise ship.

Your suppliers and your success

Suppliers of raw materials and services play a big part in the overall success of our food business. Our suppliers can also bring us undone and jeopardise our business name, product brand and existence. Since this is the case, it is very important to ensure we know about our suppliers and have confidence in what they are supplying to us.

I always remember a saying my grandmother used to say whenever we would bake together – you can’t make a good cake from sub-standard ingredients. This is the same for your food business.

Frequency of Refresher Training

It is essential that all food businesses properly train their staff and food handlers. Training aims to give workers appropriate skills and knowledge in order for them to complete allocated tasks in accordance with business procedures including requirements of the food safety program.

Initial training is obvious but what about refresher training? To ensure that all staff continue to be aware of their food safety obligations, job responsibilities and business requirements, refresher training every two years is recommended.

Food Recalls

In the past week there has been a few different products recalled due to possible listeria monocytogenes contamination. Products have included:

  • Chicken and Veal Wurst (Australia)
  • Artisan Wraps Italian Style Meats around Fresh Mozzarella (Canada)
  • Chicken polish sausage and chicken breakfast link products (USA)

Just for something different, there has also been a food recall of bottled Bar Clams due to Clostridium botulinum.

Testing your crisis management plan  Testing your contingency plan

The majority of food safety GFSI standards require that you test your crisis management plan. The reason that we want to test the system, is to make sure if an event actually happens, you will be as prepared as possible. In saying this, you should be testing all of your procedures around your emergency management and contingency planning.

Off the top of my head, some scenarios to consider in your test could be:

  • What would you do if half your work-force couldn’t show up to work tomorrow because of bird-flu or some natural disaster?
  • What if your major raw material supplier went into administration tomorrow?
  • What if the truck that transports your product to market rolled on the free-way and killed other motorists?
  • What if a disgruntled employee started sabotaging your product that then gets released to the market?

Whatever scenario you decide to use, remember to go back to the basics of “what do we want to achieve out of this process” – and that is to be prepared when the real thing happens.

Food Poisoning Outbreaks

Since the last HACCP Mentor episode, there have been norovirus outbreaks reported on two different cruise ships. In one of the outbreaks (Ruby Princess) around 8% of passengers have reported stomach illness. In a separate outbreak, 118 passengers and 3 crew members on board ‘Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas’ reported norovirus symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.

Weekly Action Item

This week’s action item is to check that all cleaning equipment is stored correctly. By this I mean, that the equipment that you use to clean is stored as required. This can include that hoses are off the floor and that brushes, brooms, mops, dust-pans are stored away from food and food contact surfaces.

Wrap up

Well that wraps up another episode. I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of those people who have commented on my previous video posts and for the encouraging emails. If there is anything you would like me to cover in an upcoming episode just comment below this post or send me an email at [email protected] Until next time, I am Amanda Evans from HACCP