Odwalla Crisis

5940 WordsJul 16, 201024 Pages
http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/crisis05.html Companies in Crisis - What to do when it all goes wrong Odwalla and the E-coli outbreak What happened? Odwalla (pronounced "odewalla") is the health-conscious juice company which began a couple of decades ago when Greg Steltenpohl, Gerry Percy and Bonnie Bassett began squeezing fresh oranges on a $200 hand juicer. The company was growing strongly with annual sales rising 30% per year and approaching $90m. The company had established a strong brand with enormous customer loyalty. On October 30, 1996, everything changed. Health officials in Washington state informed the company that they had discovered a link between several cases of E. coli 0157:H7 and Odwalla fresh apple juice. The link…show more content…
The company's values spoke of nourishing people - and when the crisis came it was an adherence to honest, straight talking and accepting responsibility that helped to get the company through. There are critics who refuse to credit the company with any integrity whatsoever - but even these will concede that as an exercise in crisis management, Odwalla stands as an example of best practice that few can match. The year after the crisis, Odwalla was voted "Best Brand Name in the Bay Area" by San Francisco Magazine. This was the first indication amongst many that Odwalla's reputation had survived. http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content2/ecoli/odwalla.11.23.html To Odwalla, the recent incidents of E. coli O157:H7 are a call to action for the entire fresh apple juice industry. Adherence to industry standards for good manufacturing practices is no longer enough to assure that E. coli O157:H7 is not present in fresh apple juice. "Previously accepted practices for preventing E. coli O157:H7 contamination, such as thoroughly washing apples, cannot assure safety," said Stephen Williamson, CEO of Odwalla. Further, according to Dr. Michael Doyle, microbiologist from the University of Georgia, "Testing of finished product does not guarantee the absence of harmful pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7." Finally, among other methods, the company is considering some form of heat treatment to kill bacteria while maintaining integrity and optimal

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