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Odwalla Juice Recall Crisis

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Individual Case Analysis

Companies in Crisis- What to do when it all goes wrong?

Discussion Questions:

1. What should the company do regarding the following specific issues?

a. Should the company recall all of its fresh apple juice, just those batches considered potentially contaminated, or not recall any of the product?

I think Odwalla should recall all of its fresh apple juice in order to prevent consumers from having to worry about purchasing the product and getting contaminated. Until the problem is solved fresh apple juice should not be distributed.

b. Should the company admit responsibility immediately? If so, then why? If not, the why not?

Yes the company should admit responsibility as soon as they are certain that the crisis has occurred so that people see that they are serious and willing to do as much as they can.

c. How should the company address media interviews? What should be said and what should not be said?

The company should be honest and acknowledge that they have made a mistake. On all interviews the company should express sympathy and regret for those affected and immediately promise that the company will pay all medical costs associated with the crisis. The company should also say the latest news on the crisis and ensure the public that the company has a handle on the problem. Listing places customers can ask questions and seek help about problems related to the crisis can be very appreciated by the customers knowing that the company cares about them.

The company should set up a web site explaining what has happened as well as speak to the press and appear on T.V. to reach a great number of people.

d. Write a short press release for the company addressing the outbreak to present on national television?

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Greg Steltenpohl

October 31, 1996 Office: 305-253-3475

6:00 P.M. Cell: 305-524-4768


Odwalla Recalls Tainted Selected Juice Products

Half Moon Bay, California-- California-based Odwalla Inc., the maker of Odwalla fruit juices is issuing a nationwide recall of all its products containing apple juice

after health officials linked it to an outbreak of E. coli bacterial poisoning.

Health officials in Washington State have linked 10 of 13 cases of E. coli infection to Odwalla fruit juices.

Greg Steltenpohl, founder of Odwalla, said, "The company is issuing its recall because it primary concern is for the safety and health of its customers".

The health department will be working very close with us in order to resolve this crisis and more information will be provided as soon as it is available. People who have bought Odwalla products containing apple juice should "discard" them, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner informed.

Interested consumers can check the companies' web site at or call the consumers hotline at 1-800-345-3642.

e. How should internal communications with employees and managers be handled regarding this situation?

Internal communications with employees and managers is very important in the overcoming of a crisis. To be effective, internal communications should include assessments of the nature of the incident, which was responsible, what was the impact to the company, and future implications. The first step in internally addressing the crisis should



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