Just today Brewbound reported:
"Revolution Brewing yesterday issued a recall of more than 10,000 barrels of beer packaged between Aug. 3 and Oct. 11 due to off-flavors that developed in six of the company’s more popular products."
Now, it is important to note that this was a quality issue and not a health issue. Revolution is voluntarily recalling their beer because of off-flavors and not owing to contamination.
They traced the issue in all the styles recalled to "... the company’s house ale yeast that ... was unknowingly contaminated by wild yeast particles."
Knowing that one of your strains of yeast had become contaminated, would you be able to identify the products that had been fermented by that yeast? Would you be able to identify which customers had purchased them?
In cases where there is serious or potential health risks (think Chipotle and Blue Bell) would you be able to reliably recall the affected products - and only the affected products - or would you need to recall everything to ensure that you got it all?
These issues could threaten the survival of any brewery. Few breweries have the resources of Revolution Brewing to be able to withstand such an expense.
Prevention. Repeatable, high-quality production (and sanitation) processes reduce the risk of this kind of problem. Risk of contamination can be reduced by proper controls and training. Sanitation and reducing the number of ambient wild biologicals reduce risk.
Response. Having correct, actionable information in the case where there is an issue will make it possible to respond to the problem without having to over-react to it.
More anon ...