Wright County Egg, a Galt, IA-based egg producer, announced a voluntary recall of 228 million eggs on August 13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had identified an increase in salmonella infections starting in May.
Kansas City-based CMA confirmed it is working with Wright on the recall, according to Hinda Mitchell, who is handling the account at the food and agriculture PR firm.
Chris Myles, SVP, and Mitch Head, MD, are leading the crisis communications effort for GolinHarris. Myles said United Egg Producers is directing consumers to a toll-free number and its Egg Safety Center, a website created in part to handle recalls. “In times of recalls, it's a clearinghouse for affected brands,” said Myles.
On the morning of August 19, the day after the recall was expanded to 380 million eggs, the site was receiving 500 unique visitors per second, according to Myles. The Egg Safety Center, which was relaunched in June, had been used in an egg recall in Northern California in 2009.
He said the group is using social media but the last public posts on United Egg Producers' Twitter and Facebook accounts are dated August 5. The American Egg Board began using its Twitter and Facebook presence to refer users to the Egg Safety Center on August 18.
Messaging is focused on explaining the industry's safety record and that the recall affects less than one percent of the 80 billion eggs produced in the US each year, said Myles.
United Egg Producers hired GolinHarris as AOR in 2004.