Food Industry Counsel LLC is proud to unveil its new FIC RECALL REPORTER. For the first time ever, the food industry will have access to a searchable real-time Excel database of food product recalls from January 2018 forward. Search for, among other things, the types of food products being recalled, the names of the recalling companies, the reasons why the recalls were announced, how the problems were discovered, and the amounts of product involved. Access to this information can provide invaluable insight into past and current trends, and can help food companies avoid the mistakes of others.
Indeed, our minds are extraordinarily complex, miraculous, and fascinating computational systems. One remarkable trait of our brains is the ability to rapidly draw inferential conclusions from incomplete data. This ability has been instrumental to our survival, for instance, by allowing us to very rapidly identify and respond to potential threats with very little information. The smell of smoke, a branch cracking in the forest, an unpleasant taste, and nearly imperceptible peripheral movements are just a few examples of things that are objectively meaningless, but nonetheless immediately alert us to potential danger. Because survival favors speed over reliability in terms of our ability to render judgment, however, we are predisposed to reaching conclusions based upon incomplete or anecdotal information. In other words, the trade-off for enhanced survival is that we are more likely to make misjudgments (bias).
It is axiomatic—regardless of the endeavor—that the more we know, the more likely we are to succeed. This is especially true in the food industry, where seemingly inconsequential details or patterns can be the harbingers of tragedy. Given the importance of our work and the risks we face, it is imperative that we do everything possible to maintain our edge and thoroughly analyze all information available to us.
Thanks to advancements in computational technology, human beings (and now machines that can learn) are increasingly able to analyze large, nuanced data sets from which it is possible to extrapolate objective truths about the past and make reliable predictions about the future. This is called analytics. Analytics allows us to identify discrete relationships and patterns from complex data sets and to reveal oft-surprising causalities that emerge when we compile disparate information into readily digestible formats.
To that end, Food Industry Counsel has spent the last year compiling information about Food Recalls into a continuously updated spreadsheet we affectionately refer to as the “FIC RECALL REPORTER.” The spreadsheet, which is updated daily, contains comprehensive data on every 2018 food recall. Our hope is that the spreadsheet will allow our firm and others to glean critical insights into the causes of recalls. By understanding the “what, where, when, and why” of recalls, we believe it may be possible to reduce the number of future recalls and further safeguard consumers, who rely upon us for the safety of their food. We further believe that putting this information into as many hands as possible is the best way to ensure it generates positive change. As such, it is freely available for download or viewing to anyone who wishes to use it. Simply click here to access the FIC RECALL REPORTER.