Tag: Crisis Management

FDA’s Right To Photograph In Your Plant

The FDA asserts in its inspection manual its right to photograph in your plant. Yet the FDA does not have statutory authority to photograph. The manual cites the following cases as authority for its right to photograph the inside of a plant: Dow Chem. Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227 (1986), and United States … Continue Reading

3 New Ways FDA Will Access Your Records and 5 Things You Can Do About It

The Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA") significantly expands the FDA’s ability to access a food company’s records. The expanded authority is found in three places in the statute: FSMA § 101 amends 31 USC § 350c(a) and allows the FDA to obtain records related not only to a product that the FDA believes "will cause … Continue Reading

Food Companies Should Revisit Insurance Program and Other Risk Management in Light of Emerging Massive European Union E. coli Outbreak

The E. coli outbreak unraveling now in the European Union, centered primarily in Germany, is setting new records for both the number of affected persons and the number of persons diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a serious complication from E. coli infection (HUS can lead to kidney failure, brain damage and death). As of … Continue Reading

More on FSMA and Food Safety Risk Avoidance

Thank you to Parker Smith & Feek for inviting me to speak to about FSMA and how it’s changing the status quo. My slide-deck can be viewed here. Following my talk, Marty Bask from Parker Smith & Feek led a very interesting discussion about the pros and cons of product recall and contamination coverage. A link … Continue Reading

The FDA’s Reportable Food Registry: Four Burning Questions

I authored the following article that appeared in the April 29, 2011 issue of Food Chemical News: As the clock ticks on the FDA’s 24-hour deadline to report to the FDA’s Reportable Food Registry, a food retailer, manufacturer or supplier is forced to make snap decisions that can profoundly impact business and litigation. Once a … Continue Reading

How Regulatory Changes Affect Litigation Risks

On February 24, 2011, Lee Smith and I presented "How Regulatory Changes Affect Litigation Risks" to the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s food litigation conference. A link to the slide-deck can be found here. We discussed ways that the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are affecting litigation now and can be … Continue Reading

Beyond Statistics: What the FDA’s RFR Report Means for Food Manufacturers

Last week, the FDA issued its first annual report on the Reportable Food Registry (RFR). The report provides statistics on the first year of the RFR (2240 entries, 229 "primary reports," a breakdown of the report by hazards, etc.). Beyond the statistics, the FDA report should be noted by food companies for two reasons: Food … Continue Reading

It’s Official: The Food Safety Modernization Act Is Law. What Food Companies Need to Do Right Now

President Obama signed into law today the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Companies with facilities subject to FDA jurisdiction should  take immediate steps to review and, where necessary, modify SOPs, policies and procedures. For example, given the FDA’s expanded access to business records, companies should set SOPs that anticipate (before a crisis occurs) what records they may … Continue Reading

Unintended Consequences of FDA Mandatory Recall Authority?

For years, a debate has raged on the merits of vesting the FDA with mandatory recall powers. Mandatory recall is part of the food safety legislation that may or may not pass in this Congress, so it’s worth discussing. At present, the FDA lacks any power to order a recall. Its only legal authority is … Continue Reading

Arm Me with Knowledge: A Response to Ken Odza

Ken posted an entry with the title: “Can Business Lawyers Afford to Practice ‘Defensively.’” I’ve been a business lawyer for almost 30 years, so I think I have at least some perspective on that issue and I thought I’d contribute to the discussion with some historical observations. I apologize in advance if I sound like I’m suggesting that … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Warning on Alcoholic Energy Drinks; States Move to Ban “Blackout in a Can”

Note: The following is authored by guest blogger Jake Storms, from the Alcoholic Beverages Law Blog. Amidst rising incidences of hospitalizations in college and teenage drinkers linked to consumption of alcoholic energy drinks, the Washington State Liquor Control Board banned their sale effective tomorrow, November 18, 2010. The move came on the heels of a … Continue Reading

Food Safety Tools and Defenses for Cheesemakers

Cheesemakers have endured a string of bad publicity recently over food safety. Cheesemakers, especially raw milk cheesemakers, are in the cross hairs of the FDA, the media, retailers and plaintiffs’ lawyers such as Bill Marler. I was interviewed last week on FDA seizure issues by the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project. Click here for the PowerPoint … Continue Reading

Listeria Recall Toolkit

The FDA recently took the relatively unusual step of obtaining a court-issued warrant to seize all cheese products at Estrella Family Creamery, a small, family-owned artisan cheese maker in Washington State. According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, "the FDA asked Estrella to recall all cheese products. The company … Continue Reading

Consumers and Gulf Shrimp: Watch What We Do, Not What We Say

The quote, "Watch what we do, not what we say," is attributed to John Mitchell, Nixon’s first attorney general.  It can apply, however, to the behavior of consumers with respect to shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, and that will be watched carefully everyone from shrimp fishers to the owners of your local fish market.  The FDA … Continue Reading

Preserving the Brand and Avoiding Media Backlash During a Crisis

I’ll be moderating and speaking on a panel at the upcoming ACI’s Advanced Summit on Food Safety Regulatory Compliance in Chicago, June 28-29. Scott Rickman from Del Monte, public relations professionals and I will be presenting on  "Effectively Responding to Negative Media Coverage: How to Avoid the Backlash" (If you plan to attend, register soon and contact … Continue Reading

Cleaning Up the Docket – Northern District of California Dismisses Lanham Act Claim Alleging Mislabeling of Personal Care Products

As we have blogged about, litigation regarding product labeling has been a hot topic within the food and beverage industry. A recent decision from the Northern District of California could hold interesting implications for Lanham Act claims centering on the labeling of products as “organic.” While the case, One God Faith, Inc. v. Hain Celestial … Continue Reading

Some Take-Aways from ACI’s 3rd National Forum on Food-Borne Illness Litigation

American Conference Institute (ACI) recently held its latest conference on food-borne illness litigation. The conference has been a fairly intimate gathering of the nation’s lawyers, insurers and experts involved with food-borne illness litigation. This year, I had the privilege of moderating an in-house counsel “think tank.” The panel was composed of lawyers from a nice … Continue Reading

PCA Investigation: Anatomy of A Recall

FDA has a short video "anatomy of a recall" about the investigation of the Salmonella outbreak and recalls associated with Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). Anyone interested in learning how the federal government  (with the help of Minnesota’s "Team Diarrhea") goes about a food borne illness investigation and recall should take a look.    … Continue Reading

Before the Outbreak, Preapprove Defense Counsel with Insurer

When a food-borne illness outbreak happens, few food companies (especially those whose brand is at stake) want an unfamiliar defense lawyer who has little knowledge about food-borne illness responding to claims asserted against them. Unless a food company maintains a high, self-insured retention or has the lawyer of its choosing preselected, its insurer might appoint … Continue Reading

Tool For Food Companies and Litigators – New Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response

Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (“CIFOR”) has published new guidelines designed to help local, state and federal agencies to improve their response to outbreaks. I became aware of this (again) through Ricardo Carvajal, who was a reviewer for the guidelines, and his firm’s FDA Law Blog. I agree with Ricardo that while the guidelines … Continue Reading

Preventing “Piercing of The Veil” – Practical Tips For Food Companies – What to Do and What to Avoid (part III of III)

By guest blogger Jerry Chiang The following list will help you preserve your liability shield and protect yourself from the liabilities of your corporation or limited liability company (“LLC”). This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather an illustrative list of activities that will either preserve one’s liability shield or undermine it. … Continue Reading
LexBlog