How-to and case study to Quickly Execute a Product Recall

Problem: Executing a Product Recall

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists 36 investigations for foodborne E. coli outbreaks for 2019 alone! The latest culprit, romaine lettuce, was identified in November 2019. Forty people in 16 states became ill with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The result was a massive product recall.

Foodborne illnesses are not the sole cause of recalls. Retailers must also handle recalls caused by toxic or harmful products, manufacturing defects, and many other factors.

The retailer has a responsibility to pull the affected product(s) off the shelves, quickly and reliably, to protect customers and reduce/eliminate the retailer’s liability.

Let us see how a multi-unit retailer with hundreds of stores can execute a product recall quickly and effectively across all stores, with verification and photo evidence.

Case study: Foodborne Illness

The CDC issues a warning, recommending consumers not to eat and throw away a specific food item, brand and/or product line.

Different departments must remove the relevant products and SKU’s, across all locations, in different states.

The Challenge

The removal must be quick, documented and verified with photos. Stores must track additional information such as receiving date, date/time of removal, and item disposal.

A record of all discarded SKU’s must be available for when the source of the outbreak is identified so the supplier can be called on to issue a refund.

Email chains and/or paper checklists are not fast enough and do not provide enough guarantees or abilities to verify.

Various employees must complete and verify the coordination of the recall in real time across multiple locations.


Deploy a Task Management solution specifically designed for retailers to greatly increase the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of the product recall. Within the app, create or more more tasks in less than a minute, and assign them a due date. Send this task to all affected stores.

Attach documents such as SKU lists and identification photos to show stores exactly what needs to be done. Make it mandatory for task recipients to attach their own photos and provide geo-stamped proof of execution.

Utilizing a designated store tablet, laptop or even an employee’s own phone, store staff can access and complete the task, anytime, from any store.

The task recipients can attach photos, leave notes, and mark the task as completed. The system automatically tracks the user, location, date and time. Head office can easily reference this information.

Head office can easily see who has completed the task and who hasn’t.  Additionally, they can see notes, photos, and easily follow up on late or outstanding tasks, all in one place.

Executing a Product Recall: Conclusion

A task management system greatly increases the effectiveness of product recalls.This allows your organization to work quickly, collaboratively, and efficiently!

Task management enables head office to respond to unexpected emergencies. This can include a product recall, regulation changes, equipment breakdown, and negative customer reviews.  Whatever the purpose, tasks management allows the head office to create tasks, assign them and see them through to completion.


Refer to the Health and Safety category for checklists, how-tos and best practices for health and safety.


Refer to the Retail Task Management category for how-tos and best practices for retail and hospitality task management.

OTHER Case Studies

Refer to other case-studies on the execution of programs and standards for retail and hospitality.

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