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Sysco expands food safety requirements

Houston TX-based foodservice marketer and distributor Sysco Corp has a program to extend real-time food safety data to the non-Sysco brand produce it provides. This self-imposed requirement, already in place for Sysco and FreshPoint branded products, is intended to show customers they are buying products only from growers and shippers that have implemented strict food safety and traceability processes.

A quality assurance team of 180 food professionals has been developing the program over the past year. It will concentrate on two areas:

•A Third Party Good Agricultural Practices Audit and Harvest Crew Audit will extend to include not only Sysco brand suppliers, but also every grower of ready-to-eat produce that Sysco distributes, whether processed or field-packed.

•Completed audits will be archived in a database managed by Each supplier and grower will link their purchase and sale in the database, tracing it from the field to Sysco. Beginning in January 2008, the database then will provide an approved purchase list for Sysco, by product, indicating the supplier is complying with the requirement.

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