The issue of food poisoning that was linked to O157: H7 bacterium in some of the fresh apple juices that were prepared by the Odwalla Company was very devastating. The predicament occurred when the firm was performing very well economically and in social responsibility.
The firm’s management portrayed very high standards of ethical conduct where the management prioritizes first the interests of the consumers. The company had a very appropriate vision, mission and core value statement that stresses on the nourishment, ecology, sustainability, innovation and continuous learning process.
This enabled the company to establish a very suitable corporate culture that swayed the company to greater heights. Therefore, Oldwalla is not to blame for the poisoning that was associated with their fruit juice. The management had done everything possible to ensure that they fruit juices of very high quality. They even went ahead and made sure that they advised their suppliers not to deliver those fruits that had fallen to the ground, but instead deliver only handpicked fruits.
This ensured that the fruits they used to make juices were not contaminated with 0157: H7 bacterium from animal wastes. To guarantee the safety of the fruits delivered, the management ensured that the fruits delivered were washed accordingly to eliminate doubt of any contamination. The concerned bodies such as FDA conducted a search in the company to establish the presence of the Ecoli O157: H7 bacterium in the company plant but were unable to find any evidence.
In such a situation, the management should immediately summon all the concerned personnel’s and particularly all the heads of the departments, CEOs, and directors. The summoning is important as it will give them an opportunity to deliberate on the best strategies to implement so that to contain the situation. The management can settle for various options. One option the management can consider is selecting a team of expertise to help them investigate whether the company’s products contain the O157: H7 bacterium as accused.
The management should also request the company lawyer to advice them about the likely consequences, if it is established that their products are the one that were responsible for the food poisoning of the affected people. Being aware of the likely law suit will enable the management to plan accordingly in order to budget for the likely expenses. The budgeting will focus on paying hospital bills and compensation of the affected victims.
Recalling of the suspected products is also a very important option to consider. The recalling process will help to prevent more incidences of food poisoning as a result of the consumption of the firm’s contaminated products. The human resource department can be assigned the role of ensuring that appropriate information is passed to the media so that the public can be updated on all the measures the company undertaking to contain the situation.
Being in such a situation and a top executive in Odwalla, I would ensure that I contact all the affected people and help them foot out their hospital bills and compensate them accordingly. In addition, I would recall all the suspected products and select a team of experts to establish the causes of the O157: H7 bacterium contamination.
I should also stop further production of the affected products, until I establish the best solution to the predicament without minding about the financial implication involved. I would prioritize first the health of the consumers will demonstrate a good ethical conduct. In the short term the company will be negatively affected financially by this decision, but this move will help the company in the long term to re-establish its brand.