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 execution of food safety practices that GFSI certification represents.
We are using the BRC Storage & Distribution audit scheme for Sysco Broadline distribution centers and the Safe Quality Foods (SQF) 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 enhance our food safety risk mitigations and provide a more robust measure of performance.