Many food companies are investing significant funds in building awareness for their brands in the market, which can pay off amply in competitive, commodity markets. One highly publicized recall, however, can turn an established brand asset into a liability.
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Safety, Government Regulations, and Brand Protection A 2005 survey of industry professionals by Food Processing Magazine ranked food safety as the number one plant-level concern (see figure). Of those surveyed, 85 percent stated they were taking additional steps to ensure food safety. The ranking of food safety as the primary concern is justified. Outcries against outbreaks of salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known