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Recall Team – mock recall test: flooding scenario

The second in our series of mock recall scenario’s which will provide you with a withdrawal and recall test. You can read the previous test scenario on water contamination here if you want to try it out with your team.
This scenario may provide a situation where:
  • Product may have been affected and therefore may need to be withdrawn or recalled
  • Traceability will be required to establish affected product (meaning you can use this as a combined recall and traceability test if you wish)
  • An emergency situation (business continuity) is involved
Try not to disregard the scenario if you feel that it does not apply to you. Get the team together anyway, to review the situation.  To really challenge yourself, play devil’s advocate and prove that it would not put you at risk. You may find there are still lessons to be learnt – or if some of the detail needs amending to suit your product or your business, then do that.

The situation…

Scenario detail

It’s rained heavily throughout the previous day and during the night.  At 6am, the production manager receives a call to say that the drains on site are overwhelmed with water and so water is starting to back up.

The local area is flooding and this has made some of the main roads impassable.

The day shift starts at 6am and there are concerns that many of the team may not be able to make it to site.

Deliveries went out on time overnight, but not all of them have made it to their delivery points in time. Some deliveries have been rejected and some are late coming back, which may affect product being dispatched during the forthcoming day.

A nominated person should call the production manager at 6am and provide them with the information detailed in the scenario. This person is standing in as the person that is in charge during the night shift. Record what time the call is made and if they get through or have to leave a message.

If a message is left, record how long it takes for the production manager to call back.

Does the production manager then follow the necessary procedure and get the incident team together?

How long does it take for the team to get together (in person or virtually)?

Does the procedure provide enough detail as to what to do in this situation?

Does the team now, and during the course of the incident keep related parties informed, such as customers?

Do they record the events, the dates and times, who they have spoken to, the actions taken?

It is clear that all members of the team know their responsibilities, what procedures they should follow and that the contact details they need are available to them are correct?

Development at 6:30am

60% of the shift has arrived at site for their day shift, including drivers.

The nominated person should inform the team of the development.

Does the team establish what effect the reduced resource will have?

Are there contingency plans in place for reduced resource situations?

Do the plans include; which production lines, or products to prioritise, or other similar plans?

Development 7:20am

It has been raised by a team leader in the factory that a leak has developed in the roof over packing line _____.  The leak is over open finished product and the operators on the line noticed this at 7:12am.  They are not sure when it started, but it is thought it was not there when the shift started at 6am.

The nominated person should inform the team of the development.

Does the team ensure that the line is stopped?

Do they trace the product that has been produced and where it has gone?

Are actions put in place to contain the affected product?

Do they assess the risk to production and what controls are required to re-start the line, including cleaning?  Is a formal re-start process put in place with sign off?

Development 7:40am

The rain has stopped.

The nominated person should inform the team of the development.

Development at 11:30am

10% of the vehicles have not yet returned to site.

The nominated person should inform the team of the development.

Does the team establish what impact 10% loss of available vehicles will have on the site?

Does the team have a contingency plan for disruption to transport?

Is the plan detailed enough to provide guidance for this situation?

Development at 2pm

Raw material deliveries have not arrived as planned.  It is thought that the site will not receive deliveries until the roads are cleared.   The highways agency expects this to occur at about 10pm this evening.

This also means that staff for the night shift will be affected and dispatch vehicles will also not be able to leave.



The nominated person should inform the team of the development.

Does the team establish what impact the lack of deliveries will have on stock levels and if this will impact production?

Does the team forecast the impact of reduced resource for the night shift?  Do the resource contingency plans cover this situation?

Are actions put in place now to minimise the impact?

For example, this may include getting a clear picture of how many staff may not be able to make it, by contacting them, or providing alternative travel arrangements for them.

Does the team communicate new delivery schedules to their customers, aligned with when vehicles are expected to leave?

Development at 10pm

The roads have cleared, personnel and deliveries can get to the site and vehicles are able to leave.

A clear up plan is required, to ensure that all effected product is dealt with and where required, customer approval is received, prior to re-starting.

I’d be really keen to hear how you get on if you use this scenario. Or, if there is anything that you would add to it or change?  It would be good to include your suggestions to make it better for those that try it in the future. Please get involved and add your thoughts in the comments section below.
recall plan


  • Paul Hill says:

    Hi Kassy,

    Albeit we are Polythene manufacturers and follow BRC 5 for Print & Packaging, one would think the above scenario would relate to us also?, since the problem is not controllable but appropriate and measures should be introduced in the eventuality of this or similar scenarios happening, it all boils down to control and action?, more recently the problem we have testing the recall procedure is companies do not have fax machines and now depend on email or scanning procedures, had a pre-audit and questions were asked regarding ‘touch’, bah modern technology!!


    • Kassy Marsh says:

      Hi Paul,
      Yes I agree, you could use it in the same way. I can see why using fax would cause problems these days, it’s crazy how quickly a fax machine has become a thing of the past! I’m probably asking a silly question here – but what is ‘touch’?
      Thanks, Kassy

  • Andreas Kennedy says:

    Hi Kassy,
    Very good procedure in the event of major flooding. However at what point was the plant brought back to sanitary conditions after the leak in the roof was found? If customers are informed of the situation would not the customer also need to be informed of the integrity of the finished goods received?
    Have a good day 🙂

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