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Dairy Facts 2016

Are You Ready for a Recall?

Mar 09, 2016
Joe Levitt, partner at Hogan Lovells US, LLP

Most dairy companies invest time and money building a strong brand reputation with their consumers. But are they prepared to protect that brand if faced with a product recall?

According Joe Levitt, partner at Hogan Lovells US, LLP, and former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the biggest risk most companies face is thinking a recall can’t or won’t happen to them.

“Understanding that a recall can happen at any time and anywhere is the first step to preventing one,” said Gene Grabowski, partner at kglobal, a full-service public relations company that specializes in crisis and reputation management. “A recall plan should be a living, breathing plan, not a binder collecting dust on a shelf.”

To help ice cream professionals improve their crisis preparedness, Levitt and Grabowski are joining IDFA in hosting a one-day workshop, “Recall Ready? Managing Recalls and Protecting Your Brand,” on April 11 in Bonita Springs, Fla. It will precede the Ice Cream Technology Conference, April 12-13.

The workshop will cover the fundamentals of a product recall, review a company’s rights and responsibilities and outline strategies for limiting liability and managing customer expectations. A combination of presentations and exercises will help attendees to benchmark their company’s recall protocols and communication management principles, and will provide tools for technical food safety staff and communications and marketing teams to work together effectively and efficiently during the recall.

Sessions will include:

  • Understanding the Fundamentals of a Product Recall;
  • Protecting Your Reputation and Brand;
  • Limiting Your Liability in a Recall;
  • The Role of FDA and State regulators and How to Work with Them; and
  • Exercise: Building a Better a Crisis Management Plan.


Gene Grabowski
Grabowski, partner at kglobal, is a distinguished communications counselor and former journalist known for creating strategic communications programs, conducting media outreach and advising company executives on handling recalls. He has earned the PR News Crisis Manager of the Year Award for his work on various campaigns, including the global lead-paint-in-toys recall and the North American recall of pet foods.

Joseph Levitt
Now with Hogan Lovells, Levitt is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has extensive knowledge of the Food Safety Modernization Act. He counsels food companies and trade associations in food safety, labeling and compliance matters, as well as how to work effectively with the FDA.

Peggy Armstrong
Armstrong, IDFA vice president of communications, provides strategic communications counsel to IDFA members and staff, and oversees IDFA's communications initiatives, including crisis preparedness training. Prior to joining IDFA, she served as communications director and press secretary for Anthony Williams during his tenure as mayor of the District of Columbia.

Registration is now available online for the Ice Cream Technology Conference and the “Recall Ready? Managing Recalls and Protecting Your Brand” workshop.

For more information, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings coordinator and registrar, at

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