XL Foods criticized over beef recall communication
Alberta company has been absent from E. coli conversation, say critics
The company at the centre of a national beef recall is facing some tough criticism.
XL Foods management hasn't been available for media interviews since the plant was linked to E. coli contamination weeks ago. Production at the company’s Brooks, Alta., plant has been suspended by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as more than 1,500 products have been recalled from across the country.
"The big hole you can drive a tractor trailer through is the total absence of XL," said Tom Donoghue, who runs a Calgary firm that specializes in crisis communication.
He says he, and many others, have questions that the company should be answering.
"What went wrong? But what went wrong is still under investigation. What they are doing about it would certainly be useful and also what would be even more useful is who are they?"
Donoghue says XL Foods has been let off too easily.
"The media have not followed up on its obligation to hold the company accountable."
The case is being compared to the Lysteria crisis at Maple Leaf Foods in 2008.
When that happened the company president addressed the public almost immediately.
Calgary consultant Barb Samuels says that's a lesson other companies can learn from.
"Despite the catastrophic events, the company came back."
Samuels says people are pretty forgiving when a company admits that there's a problem, apologizes and promises to fix it.