US Foodservice, one of the nation’s largest food distributors, and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the trade association representing nearly 3,000 companies, have joined forces to share their vision to solve current food safety issues that have resulted in a number of recalls: food safety needs to become part of every food company’s business culture.
At a “PMA Fresh Connections” meeting in Chicago IL recently, both organizations offered their vision to more than 50 food industry professionals from different segments of the food industry. The interactive program defined what a food safety culture is and why having one is essential to the industry’s well-being and a company’s survival.
“A food safety culture needs to be part of every business segment to support this vision,” said Jorge Hernandez, senior vice-president of food safety and quality assurance for US Foodservice. “If you are in the food industry, food safety must be a non-negotiable part of your business plan, not an after-thought. Food safety must be built into every job in every segment of the business, whether it is supplier selection; purchasing and sales; or growing, processing, and distributing food.”
Hernandez was among the program’s speakers, which also included Dr Robert Whitaker, PMA’s chief science officer, who led the series of discussions explaining why food safety must be a part of everyone’s business culture. The program followed on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement calling for stronger measures aimed at better protection of the nation’s food supply—measures applauded by US Foodservice.
US Foodservice offers more than 43,000 national, private label, and signature brand items and an array of services to its more than 250,000 customers. The company employs 26,000 associates in more than 60 locations nationwide.