In FY2013 Sysco Quality Assurance (QA) adopted the food safety certification processes of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which is becoming the benchmark standard for the food industry worldwide. Food industry stakeholders increasingly recognize the value of the systemic evaluation of the physical plant, food safety program documentation and employee behaviors in executing food safety practices that GFSI certification represents.
We are using the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Storage & Distribution audit scheme for Sysco Broadline and SYGMA distribution centers and the Safe Quality Foods and Primus GFS audit schemes for processing plants in our FreshPoint and Specialty Meat Company operations.
The GFSI certification process provides two major advantages over routine GMP inspections:
- A thorough evaluation of a food safety system, its execution, and its conformance to risk and science-based food safety standards as well as regulatory requirements.
- Emphasis on independent third party accreditation of both the standard and the auditors, decreasing the potential for conflicts of interest and increasing customer and regulator confidence in the system.
We are confident that our transition to food safety certification at Sysco facilities will more effectively integrate accountability for food safety across all functions, enhance our ability to mitigate food safety risk and provide a more robust measure of performance.