Modeling the Recall and Warning Process in the Foodborne Contamination Event: Perspectives from Disaster Warnings and Crisis Communication

March 2010 (VOL. 28, NO. 1)

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Contaminated food and food contamination events occur frequently and constitute a major threat to the public. A food warning/recall is the primary method used by organizations to reduce the public’s exposure when an unacceptable risk has been identified. This analysis examines the risk communication processes associated with the food warning/recall. We draw on the work of Teratanavat, Hooker and Salin (2002) and Teratanavat and Hooker (2004) regarding the dynamics of food recalls; Seeger, Sellnow, and Ulmer (2003) and Reynolds and Seeger (2005) regarding crisis communication; and Lindell and Perry (1992), Mileti and Sorensen (1990), and Mileti and Peek (2000) regarding public warning models to develop a four stage model of the communication processes associated with the food recall.