Crisis? What Crisis: Texas meat company remains silent on E. coli-related beef recall

I don’t know why a little-known Fort Worth meat company that recalled nearly 16,000 pounds of beef would want to hurt its image, but saying nothing is a bad strategy – one that even big firms do routinely.

Sometimes it makes sense, because there’s nothing to say, and platitudes make things worse, but when you’re listed as the PR contact as PFP Enterprises President Jim Piep is, 96_supertramp_crisisdeclining to comment just raises suspicion.

It’s OK to say you don’t know. It’s a simple playbook: this is what we know, this is what we don’t know, this is what we’re doing to find out more.

According to a report in the Star-Ledger, USDA cannot compel a private company to respond to media requests for information.

PFP’s registered agent is Lucas Melott, who is chief financial officer of a Dallas meat company named Patterson Food Processors. Melott declined to say whether the two firms are related or answer other questions.

Charles Sanger of Charleston\Orwig, said in a recent report that companies too often “default to a bunker mentality” to wait out the media storm.

“This can be a critical, if not fatal, error, particularly in the 21st century communications landscape in which we all operate,” he said. “This all is magnified in the food system, where issues often are related to food safety and take the form of recalls of food products, at times with associated risks to human health,” Sanger wrote.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time