Hans Kissle Takes Winning Approach to Food Safety

A focus on food quality and safety, combined with an emphasis on employee training, teamwork, and effective implementation of new technologies, are just some of the reasons behind the selection of Hans Kissle, a manufacturer of fresh prepared foods, deli salads, and meats in Haverhill, Mass., to receive the 11th annual Food Quality Award.

Sponsored by DuPont Qualicon, the award was presented April 18 during a reception at the Food Safety Summit Expo and Conference in Washington, D.C.

“We’re delighted that the judges selected Hans Kissle for this year’s Food Quality Award,” said Megan DeStefano, global marketing manager for DuPont Qualicon. “The innovations and value for food safety and quality throughout the Hans Kissle organization were found to be outstanding. And we’re very pleased to sponsor this annual award, which recognizes the critical role of food processors in protecting the food supply.”

“Our team takes great pride in the products we produce,” said Robin L. Beane, Hans Kissle’s director of operations, in accepting the award. “Therefore, to be recognized with this prestigious award authenticates the values and high standards we embrace and adhere to as a company every day.”

Previous winners of the annual Food Quality Award include Mastronardi Produce, Michigan Turkey Producers, Fieldale Farms, West Liberty Foods, Hormel Foods, Beef Products, Tyson Food Safety and Laboratory, Sysco, Franklin Foods, Hygaard Fine Foods, and East Balt Commissary.

Hans Kissle, which loosely translates to “John’s Kettle” in German, was founded in 1984 as a commissary to manufacture signature fresh deli salads, prepared foods, custom deli meats, and side dishes for the Roche Brothers Supermarket chain in the Boston area. The purpose was to have a central facility that would assure the quality and consistency of its fresh deli products. “Roche was known for its very high quality deli salads and other prepared foods, which were made in their stores at that time,” said Ken Venti, president of Hans Kissle.

Hans Kissle was originally situated in a former meatpacking plant in Somerville, Mass. In 2004, the company moved to a new, 112,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Haverhill, Mass., designed by the Dennis Group, an architectural and engineering firm specializing in food manufacturing processes and plants. Reflecting Hans Kissle’s commitment to the environment, nearly half of the 30-acre lot is designated as conservation land.

Salads are inspected as they flow down the production line prior to packing.

Salads are inspected as they flow down the production line prior to packing.

Now an independent company, Hans Kissle supplies a full line of salads (including, potato, pasta, and specialty/seafood salads), prepared foods, desserts, deli meats, and holiday dinner kits to a range of major East Coast retail grocers. These include Ahold (Stop & Shop), Supervalu, BJ’s, Hannaford, Shop Rite, and Kroger. Hans Kissle also supplies products to a number of major foodservice companies, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Sysco, US Foodservice, and PFG. “We also have a growing business in the Midwest and even ship some products to the West Coast,” Venti said, noting that geographical expansion plans are under way.

The company’s philosophy is simple: “To be the best and to conduct our affairs with Golden Rule principles,” Venti said. “This means that we will endeavor to provide our customers with the best-tasting and freshest products available. These products will be made with the most stringent and safest standards and processes. We always endeavor to ‘do the right thing’ and treat customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders as we all would like to be treated.”

Commitment to Training

“Food quality and safety are the hallmarks of our success,” said Beane. “We believe that the finest ingredients, prepared with caution and care, result in satisfied consumers and reflect favorably on our valued customers. The distinguishing characteristic of our company is the uncompromising commitment of all our associates to meet our very strict standards.”

About Ted Agres

Ted Agres is an award-winning writer who covers food safety regulatory and legislative issues from the nation’s capital. He has 40 years of experience in reporting on issues such as health policy, medical technology, and pharmaceutical development. He holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago. He enjoys playing the piano, amateur radio, and paintball. He lives in Laurel, MD. Reach him at tedagres@yahoo.com.

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