Food Safety Expert Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel on How to Avoid Recall and Financial Ruin

Dirigo Quality Meats founder, Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel makes food safety simple. A recall is the largest threat to profitability of a food company. By instituting food safety systems and creating a culture of food safety, you can protect yourself from recall.

“A recall will drive you out of business,” states Pfannenstiel. “The costs are almost incalculable, if you stay in business long enough to try and recoup them.”

One example of a business that could not recoup their losses after a food recall is Sunland Organic Peanut Butter. The recall of the organic peanut butter they processed put the company into Chapter 7 Liquidation proceedings in October 2013 and was auctioned in late March.

Lawsuits from suppliers and individual consumers are often a result of a recall.

Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin has said, “Food safety is core to our principles in the food retail industry, and critical to ensuring the efficacy of our businesses.”

Dirigo Quality Meats brings the food safety skills Pfannenstiel learned in the US Army Vet Corps to producers and processors across the country.  She is a Veterinarian and serves as the Director of Food Safety for the National Farmer Veteran Coalition. She founded the company as a way to bring her acquired food safety skills to small food and agriculture businesses.

According to Pfannenstiel, “A lot of the food safety training that is available lacks tangible programs you can take with you at the end of class.”  The training she provides food companies includes an actionable plan to implement.

The food safety program offered by Pfannenstiel starts with writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The SOP writing course is offered at no charge. She also offers a one-day course to analyze food safety risks and hazards so your food company complies with FSMA. An audit of a food processor’s food safety program is another service Pfannenstiel provides.

Dirigo Quality Meats audits food safety programs based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point principles. HACCP rests upon comprehensive prerequisite programs that ensure a clean environment, safe inputs, and control of the safety process.

“Getting a certified HACCP audit for your plant is vital to protecting your profitability and growing your market. Your large clients are going to start asking for these if they aren’t already,” states Pfannenstiel, a certified HACCP auditor. “Safe food equals long term revenue.”

Recall planning is part of any food safety plan. Food companies need to be prepared if disaster strikes. Pfannenstiel provides these plans to food companies to modify for their facilities as well as an audit checklist.

For more information, and a list of programs which must be present to pass a certified audit, visit

Creator of The PRO-FOUND Process, Stephanie Miller teaches the art of promotion, discovery and recovery. A three-time best selling author, she interviews entrepreneurs on how they solve problems with their expertise.