Researchers have recently become extremely concerned about the safety of chicken meat sold in the United States. According to the reports, released by the Center for Disease Control, approximately 300 people were hospitalized because they consumed chicken meat contaminated with salmonella (Bittman, 2013b). Apart from that, a growing number of clients are becoming reluctant to eat meat because they want to adopt healthy lifestyles. (Bittman, 2013a).
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Additionally, various food retailers can be blamed for the failure to eliminate the threats to the health of customers (Moss, 2009). There are the main details that should be identified because they can throw light on the attitudes of customers. It is possible to identify several stakeholders, namely, clients, food retailers, suppliers, and governmental organizations. Therefore, these tendencies can eventually affect Costco and other businesses that retail food in the country. At this point, they should find ways of responding to this situation.
Nevertheless, one should not suppose that this trend can be viewed only as a threat to the company. More likely, this management can derive several opportunities from it. This organization must monitor its suppliers of chicken to ensure that its products are free from any virulent diseases, including salmonella. Apart from that, the company should implement safety procedures that can reduce the risk of contamination. Additionally, the marketing campaigns of Costco should emphasize that the products retailed by the company have been properly checked.
The main benefit of this policy is that it can strengthen the loyalty of existing clients who will see that the company is genuinely concerned about the welfare of clients. Secondly, this strategy can differentiate Costco among its competitors, especially if these organizations fail to carry out similar policies on time. Therefore, the revenues of this organization can eventually increase in the future. These are the main improvements that can be achieved in this way.
Several details are indicating that this problem should not be overlooked. First of all, one should also keep in mind that this infection can be resistant to antibiotics, and the healthcare problems caused by salmonella may not be effectively treated (Bittman, 2013b). As a result, many customers are extremely concerned about safety. This is one of the reasons why they want to reduce the consumption of meat, including chicken. So, one can say that companies should not underestimate the threats to which consumers can be exposed. More importantly, it is vital to address these concerns as soon as possible; otherwise, the sales rates can decline significantly in the long term. In turn, businesses like Costco should take actions to restore the trust of clients. In particular, retailers should make sure that their suppliers comply with the standards which are set for food processing companies (Fellows, 2009, p. 86).
This is one of the approaches that can be taken. One should also pay attention to employees’ hygiene since their mistakes can also contribute to the contamination of food (Fellows, 2009, p. 86).On the whole, it is possible to identify a set of solutions that can help Costco address this problem and eventually become more competitive. This is one of the main arguments that can be advanced.
Certainly, it is possible to say that such a policy can impair the supply chain of business because Costco may find it difficult to establish relations with food processing companies. Therefore, one can argue that the benefits of this strategy may not be justified from a financial viewpoint. Nevertheless, in this case, the reputation of Costco is at stake. The potential costs of neglecting this issue can much greater than the amount of investment which is needed for the new quality control program. In contrast, at this moment, Costco has a great opportunity to differentiate itself among other retailers. If the company introduces an effective quality control program and makes clients more aware of this issue, it will be able to increase sales rates. These are the main points that can be made.
Overall, this discussion indicates that the management of Costco may benefit from the situation that has recently emerged. Under these circumstances, the management should first address potential concerns of clients. This policy can eventually improve the financial sustainability of this organization. Furthermore, Costco can differentiate its products among others. It is necessary to take the following steps:
- To implement supplier auditing programs because in this way, one can identify and eliminate possible malpractices;
- To carry out packaging checks since this approach can enable personnel to identify products that could be contaminated (Fellows, 2009, p. 86);
- To implement employee training programs that will be related to personal hygiene and health screening (Fellows, 2009, p. 86);
- To monitor sanitary conditions in each of Costco premises;
- To raise clients’ awareness about this policy through marketing campaigns.
Bittman, M. (2013a). The Week in Food. Web.
Bittman, M. (2013b). Should You Eat Chicken? Web.
Fellows, P. (2009). Food Processing Technology: Principles and Practice. New York, NY: Elsevier. Web.
Moss, M. (2009). Company’s Record on Treatment of Beef Is Called. Web.
Into Question. The New York Times, p. 1. 2014. Web.