There is WHAT in my peanut butter?!

12 02 2009

A couple of days ago I received an email from Food Lion involving the recent Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak in peanut products.  I thought the email, copied below, was a great example of PR in a crisis.  Food Lion makes sure to let its customers know that they are working with the FDA to stay updated on products that may contain Salmonella.  Food Lion also assures its customers that all peanut products sold at the store have been approved.    They also have a section of their Website dedicated to recalls.  All foods that have been recalled and why are listed on the Website.  Food Lion also guarantees full refunds of all these products. 

 I think that keeping an organization’s publics informed is the most important thing to do in a crisis.  Food Lion’s Websiteand email are both excellent examples of effective means to inform an organization’s publics.  These two tools make customers feel valued and also better establishes a relationship between Food Lion and its customers.  After all, information keeps people calm in a crisis and also makes people feel like the organization cares about them.  What other tools could Food Lion use to handle this crisis?

EMAIL:

Dear valued customer,

As you may be aware, the FDA is continuing their investigation into
the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak caused by the Peanut Corporation
of America (PCA), which manufactures peanut butter and peanut paste.
We recently communicated some information regarding this recall to
you and we wanted to give you an update on this issue.

Over the course of the last few weeks several products have been
recalled. Since this is still an active investigation, there may
still be additional products recalled.

We would like to assure you that Food Lion, LLC (including Food Lion,
Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Reid’s and Harveys stores) is diligently
working in cooperation with the FDA to pull all products that may
contain contaminated peanut paste as an ingredient. The safety of our
customers is our utmost concern. A number of products containing
peanut butter or peanut paste have been recalled, including a fe w
from our stores, however, peanut butter sold in jars at our stores is
not affected. The peanut butter being recalled is sold by PCA in bulk
packaging to distributors for institutional food service industry
use. None of the peanut butter being recalled is sold directly to
consumers through retail stores. Information regarding the ongoing
recalls can be found at the FDA web site:
http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html

Also, we are updating our web site, http://www.foodlion.com/recalls,
with all products we have pulled. If you have purchased any of the
recalled items, you can return them to a store for a full refund.

Thank you

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