Food Safety Magazine’s latest issue focuses on “Industry in Crisis Mode.” The issue includes an article by Shaun Kennedy, director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD). Mr. Kennedy provides a good overview of the elements of a supply chain verification program that any food seller should consider.

Mr. Kennedy acknowledges that costs for third-party audits, fixing supply chain problems, and establishing traceability can be high. To justify costs, he points to the recent experience of Maple Leaf Foods. According to Mr. Kennedy, Maple Leaf Foods incurred “direct costs to the company of over $20 million. The shareholder costs are even greater with its stock price having dropped by over 20% by the end of August since the announcement of the recall, a shift of over $200 million.” These costs do not include anything to compensate possible tort victims or to respond to inevitable products liability litigation (whether merited or not).