Breaking Bad News

Apron Food & Beverage Commuications

Apron Food & Beverage Communications podcast about food brands, recalls, withdrawals, alerts and issues, and the way they’re treated in the press and on social media.

All Episodes

Jeff and Jenny welcome a special guest for a close up look at how the food industry has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when it comes to food safety. Laura Dunn Nelson is the Vice President of Food Safety and Global Alliances at Intertek Alchemy, which offers a wide range of training solutions for frontline employees to work safer, smarter, better. She talks to Jenny and Jeff about the unprecedented challenges food companies have faced during the pandemic and how companies have had to find a way to keep their employees safe. In addition to infectious disease prevention measures, Nelson covers the food industry’s changes related to preventative maintenance and supply chain management. She also has some advice on how companies can enhance their safety culture. Nelson helps Jeff and Jenny analyze the high-profile January Recall of the Month. Nestlé issued a massive recall of 763,000 pounds of Hot Pockets that could be contaminated with pieces of glass and hard plastic. How well did Nestle Prepared Food manage the crisis? Jeff and Jenny give the company high marks for how they communicated through the recall.

Mar 13

52 min

Jenny and Jeff welcome a food safety expert to analyze a salmonella outbreak linked to onions from a California supplier that sickened hundreds of people across several states. Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Vice President of Food Safety at United Fresh Produce Association, offers some perspective on this far reaching recall that impacted all 50 states. Dr. McEntire explains how this onion recall raised the attention of the food industry, as well as how an outbreak investigation unfolds. This episode also features a discussion on how salmonella can be found in pet foods.  Pet industry veteran Vicki Ford talks to Jenny and Jeff about what pet owners should know to keep their furry friends safe.

Sep 2020

52 min 12 sec

In this unusual episode of Breaking Bad News, you’ll learn more about head meat and cheese than you probably ever wanted from hosts Jeff Hahn and Jenny Gregorcyk. But that’s not all. The recall of more 38,000 lbs of boneless beef head meat products from Canada brings up the importance of the complex inspection process to keep imported food safe in the United States. July 2020 was a surprisingly slow month with food recalls. Jenny and Jeff discuss why a head meat recall would garner so much media attention and analyze how the company communicated the recall.  

Aug 2020

32 min 42 sec

Is it mere coincidence that this podcast discussion would center on two things that often go together, salty snacks and marijuana?  Actually, hosts Jeff Hahn and Jenny Gregorcyk focus on some recent food trends during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers turn more to snack and processed foods. That discussion leads into Jenny revealing the May Recall of the Month, the first time a marijuana product has been discussed on Breaking Bad News. Speaking of that title, Jeff and Jenny talk about how Jeff's crisis communication playbook has finally arrived from the printer and how listeners can get a copy of Breaking Bad News by only paying for shipping.

Jun 2020

35 min 41 sec

The Cops TV show song "Bad Boys" is the theme of this special edition of Breaking Bad News as Jeff quizzes Jenny on some recent big name brands that were hit with food safety fines. The two hosts also play "Monday Morning Quarterback" by going back and re-crafting the company's statements using a message development formula in Jeff's new crisis communication book.

Jun 2020

34 min 42 sec

What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the number of U.S. Food recalls? The Apron Food PR research team looked into that question. In this "Recall of the Month" episode of Breaking Bad News, hosts Jenny Gregorcyk and Jeff Hahn discuss the possible reasons why food recalls have dropped during the recent crisis. Jenny also reveals her selection for the April Recall of the Month, which dives into the food import inspection process and the possibility of an uptick in food imports during this COVID-19 era. .

May 2020

23 min 6 sec

Jeff and Jenny are podcasting from their homes to comply with "Stay at Home" orders and it gives them a chance to analyze the impact of the health crisis on the grocery and food service industries. Jenny also unveils her Recall of the Month selection. She and Jeff take a look at how a well known brand dealt with a flurry of bad press.  

Apr 2020

26 min 20 sec

A pet food giant is featured in this Recall of the Month edition of Breaking Bad News. Before hosts Jenny Gregorcyk and Jeff Hahn reveal the top February food recall, they take a look back at who many believe is the father of today’s food safety laws. Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley became the first USDA Commissioner after his high profile food experiments in the early 20th Century

Mar 2020

26 min 1 sec

In this special edition of Breaking Bad News, hosts Jenny Gregorcyk and Jeff Hahn take a break from our regular Recall of the Month discussion to dive into a really interesting trend report Apron Food PR just released called the Food Forecast. The Apron Food PR strategy team identified two big trends for this year:  "better for you" and "better for the planet." Jenny and Jeff discuss the big focus on health and wellness, as well as how consumers care a lot about their own personal environmental impact.

Feb 2020

26 min 50 sec

The theme of the January Recall of the Month Podcast is “history repeats itself” with a brand in a previous recall podcast making a repeat performance. That leads hosts Jenny Gregorcyk and Jeff Hahn into a discussion about the history of food safety. Before revealing recall of the month, Jeff covers a crisis risk assessment tool known as The Cassandra Calculator. Named after the fabled Greek prophetess Cassandra, the calculator is a weighted assessment of variables to help organizations prepare for a crisis.

Feb 2020

30 min 24 sec

In this episode, host Jeff Hahn explores one of the most overused things that leaders communicate in a crisis, the apology. Jeff wraps up his series on crisis messaging with guest co-host Russ Rhea with an in-depth look at the “mortification strategy” in image restoration. You’ll hear both good and bad examples of apologies in crisis situations including Chef Mario Batali, McDonalds and KFC. Jeff will also reveal the eight characteristics of a good apology and the best timing to make an apology.

Jan 2020

42 min 33 sec

  McDonald's got into hot water with vegetarians when it was revealed that its fries were flavored with beef tallow. That’s one of the case studies crisis communication expert Jeff Hahn applies to the image repair theory in this episode of Breaking Bad News.  Jeff continues his discussion with guest host Russ Rhea on crisis messaging. The two cover in detail a powerful crisis communication model developed by a scholar that can guide the response in all types of events.  

Jan 2020

47 min 29 sec

Messaging is critical to managing the narrative in the news space when facing a crisis. In this episode of Breaking Bad News, crisis communication expert Jeff Hahn and guest host Russ Rhea break down the first of three models used to frame the message in a crisis. Jeff explains how these models provide a road map to get through tricky situations and simplify a complex process.

Jan 2020

42 min 41 sec

There’s a common theme to the many of the notable food recalls to round out 2019…foreign objects. Apron Food PR’s Jenny Gregorcyk returns to the podcast co-host chair after welcoming her new daughter to the family. She joins crisis communication expert Jeff Hahn to review some high profile recalls and take a deep dive into one particular recall that garnered sizeable media coverage.  

Jan 2020

25 min 16 sec

It’s a special episode of Breaking Bad News as host Jeff Hahn welcomes crisis communications and reputation management expert Bill Coletti. Jeff talks to Bill about his recent book, Critical Moments, where he reveals how organizations can build reputational excellence by meeting the needs and expectations of the public. Jeff and Bill also look in depth at a high-profile crisis communications case study, the food allergy death of a British teenager after eating a birthday meal at a popular UK burger chain. How was the company’s response? The two crisis experts give their assessment.  

Dec 2019

59 min 42 sec

Due to an unusually slow number of food recalls in the Fall, Host Jeff Hahn is combining the months of September and October into one big Recall of the Month episode. Jeff asks the question “What’s the deal with chicken?” because of majority of the recalls over this two-month period involved chicken products. One of the recalls involved listeria and Jeff breaks down the good and bad in the company’s website statement about the recall.

Nov 2019

21 min 15 sec

How to deal with negative reviews that challenge a restaurant's reputation is the big focus in this episode as Host Jeff Hahn welcomes Restauranteur Chris Watkins.  In addition to covering techniques to respond to negative online reviews by unreasonable customers, Jeff and Chris talk about how to develop a culture of service inside a restaurant.

Oct 2019

38 min 21 sec

Jeff Hahn’s guest co-host in this episode to reveal the latest “Recall of the Month” is fellow crisis communication guru, Libba Letton. In addition to discussing what caused a recent recall involving American Beef Packers, Jeff and Libba cover the different classes of food recalls and government requirements on when to issue a press release. This episode wraps up with Jeff testing Libba’s knowledge of crisis communication with a series of questions that would make most people cry.

Oct 2019

37 min 3 sec

In this episode of Breaking Bad News, crisis communication expert Jeff Hahn and guest host Laura Zappi look back on the notable food recalls in July 2019. But only one can be proclaimed the "Recall of the Month." Jeff and Laura also unravel the confusion over "Best if Used By" food labels. Are foods still safe to eat after its "sell by" or "use before" date? This topic came up following Jeff’s recent war with the office refrigerator.

Aug 2019

27 min 18 sec

What does it take for a company to return normal following a crisis such as a food recall? Breaking Bad News podcast hosts Jeff Hahn and Jenny Gregorcyk provide an overview of the “Reputation Dissonance Model” in crisis communication. In this episode, Jenny and Jeff also discuss the role plastic plays in food recalls before revealing the “Recall of the Month.”

Aug 2019

23 min 39 sec

Food PR experts Jeff Hahn and Jenny Gregorcyk provide some insight on how communications strategy or a lack thereof is impacting the public conversation of a recent, high-profile ground beef recall. Before revealing the Recall of the Month, Jeff and Jenny focus on some food trend paradoxes, including ethnic foods, curbside pickup and food shopping habits among Millennials.

Jul 2019

30 min 1 sec

Before revealing and analyzing the Breaking Bad News featured food recall, Jeff and Jenny discuss the growth of Nano-influencers in promoting brands. The growing popularity of Instagram is one of the factors leading to the trend. Nano-influencers are people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media. Jeff and Jenny suggest a formula to assess which Nano-influencers might be best for a specific campaign.

May 2019

31 min

The rise of “Belief-driven buyers” is the focus of this edition of the Breaking Bad News podcast. Jenny Gregorcyk and Jeff Hahn point to some new research on how most consumers are now buying or boycotting brands because of the brand’s position on a social or political issue. Nike and Heineken are just a few of the brands launching campaigns to take advantage of this movement. That leads up to a discussion on why the pace of food recalls are down for the year and selecting the recall of the month.

May 2019

35 min 21 sec

This edition of the Breaking Bad News Podcast hits the road to explore crisis communication message delivery methods. Jeff Hahn, Apron Food PR’s  head of Reputation Strategy, talks with  media trainer Russ Rhea about a critical part of the Reputation Dissonance model. Russ and Jeff took advantage of the time while driving from Dallas to Houston where they were actually performing one of the delivery methods for a client facing a crisis. In this episode, Jeff reviews the 5 components of delivering bad news in crisis situations with an emphasis on the final component, delivery methods.  From traditional press conferences to the “no comment” approach, you’ll learn the 9 methods of delivery and the rationale to choose the method that fits the moment. Along the way, Russ and Jeff will test your knowledge of Texas small towns with a road trip trivia quiz. Download Rapid Response Guide PDF

May 2019

38 min 14 sec

Media Trainer Russ Rhea talks to Crisis Communication Strategist Jeff Hahn about the recipe for putting together a crisis response team. The first 90 minutes count the most for organizations facing a new crisis and the response has to be activated by a team. Jeff covers who needs to be on the rapid response team and their roles and responsibilities.

Apr 2019

35 min 26 sec