A controversy has erupted across Continental Europe involving Nestlé.
After the discovery of horse meat and “traces” of horse DNA in two of their beef products, the Swiss-based company launched a voluntary recall to get them off store shelves.
Nestlé was formed in 1905 and has grown into what is now the largest food company in the world measured by revenues. Nestlé operates about 450 factories throughout 86 countries. Although the company claims American food is unaffected by the horse meat contamination, its brand is still at stake globally. Nestlé is doing the right thing by recalling the meat products, but the question remains, should they have been more vocal about their findings?
Nestlé released one statement on its website explaining there is “no food safety issue, but the mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect.” They also stated they were “enhancing existing comprehensive quality assurance programs” to ensure a higher standard of meat and enhanced traceability. All are important points, but virtually hidden in a small article on a subpage of Nestlé’s main site. It is unlikely many consumers will see or know about this issue unless pointed out by a major newspaper or media outlet. The statement regarding this issue can be found here:
Knowing how important it is to keep their brand name clean, do you think it was smart of Nestlé’s PR team to keep this controversy quiet? Do you think they should have released an international statement to be more transparent rather than appearing to cover up the issue?