Due to social media, news spreads quickly and food companies need to be able to control and manage their message should a crisis hit. Megan Poinski from FoodDive talked to industry experts such as Anthony LaFauce, vice president of the PNConnect division of PR firm Porter Novelli, who talked about the power of Instagram and other social networks. "Those kinds of short channels have tentacles that reach out to people and pull them back to something more substantial," LaFauce said during the Food Safety Summit in Chicago.

LaFauce advises preparing for the worst case scenario, including pages and posts pre-vetted by legal counsel and ready to be published in times of crisis. Keeping an eye on customer conversations about the crisis through social media is crucial, he says, using tools such as Meltwater, Sysomos and Google Advanced Search allow companies to track online conversations about their product, or track hashtags and trigger words even in unrelated networks or discussions.

He also recommends search-engine optimization and hashtags for a company's prepared statements, to ensure that they are easily found, as well as relationships with trusted bloggers and influencers.