On July 26, 2015, US Foods officially accepted the 14th annual Food Quality & Safety Award during IAFP in Portland, Ore. This prestigious honor recognizes the dedication and achievement of an organization that has made significant improvements in its safety and quality assurance department or program.
US Foods is a food company and leading distributor, serving independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government, and educational institutions. In addition to its more than 60 distribution locations and more than 6,000 refrigerated trucks nationwide, US Foods also operates 12 processing facilities, four culinary equipment and supplies distribution centers, and four chef’s retail outlets.
The organization was honored with the Food Safety & Quality Award for effectively demonstrating how food safety is a leading part of its corporate strategy to success. Examples of some of the company’s leadership include developing and requiring food safety training for every job function in its distribution centers; being the first broadline distributor to use DNA test to verify seafood species and prevent mislabeling; and being the first company in the U.S. to require a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized certification of all its 1,200 private label co-packers and the first to certify the food safety and quality systems of its distribution centers and processing facilities to the same.
US Foods has been a strong proponent of partnerships across the industry at GLOBALGAP, GFSI, the International Food Protection Institute, the Center for Produce Safety, Produce Marketing Association, Association of Food & Drug Officials, and the American National Standards Institute. The company has also been an advocate for sharing best practices amongst food companies throughout the country.
The Award presentation during IAFP was hosted by Purnendu Vasavada, PhD, professor emeritus of food science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and outreach project manager for the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA). FSPCA is a public-private alliance consisting of key industry, academic, and government stakeholders whose mission is to support safe food production by developing a nationwide core curriculum, training, and outreach programs to assist companies producing human and animal food in complying with the preventive controls regulations that will be part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
In addition, Gale Prince, CFS, founder and president of SAGE Food Safety Consultants, LLC—who is also touted as a food safety legend by Dr. Vasavada—delivered the keynote address that provided an insightful look at the evolution of food safety throughout the years.
“The need for the application of food safety science as never been greater than it is today,” stressed Prince. “You must be proactive with futuristic thinking in preventing food safety issues.”
For the complete story behind US Foods’ success that contributed to it winning this year’s Award, read our coverage of the organization in the upcoming October/November issue of Food Quality & Safety.
(Editor’s Note: all images courtesy of Chris Ryan Photography)