Retailers Developing DC Safety Program

A group of food retailers and food service companies are working with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) to develop guidance on how their distribution centers can become SQF-certified for maintaining high levels of food safety practices.

ARLINGTON, Va. — A group of food retailers and food service companies are working with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) to develop guidance on how their distribution centers can become SQF-certified for maintaining high levels of food safety practices.

"This June we should have guidance on how to get a DC certified," said Bob Garfield, senior vice president, SQFI, a division of the Food Marketing Institute here.

The companies working with SQFI, said Garfield, include Publix [3], Supervalu [4], Wal-Mart Stores [5], Wawa, U.S. Foodservice, Sysco and Reinhart FoodService.

SQFI offers a global food safety and quality certification program that is applied to food manufacturing facilities, including retail manufacturing facilities. The new program will be the first time SQFI has offered certification for retail warehousing facilities.

In both cases, the program provides independent certification that a facility complies with international and domestic food safety regulations. SQFI is affiliated with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

"Facilities that go through this have a higher level of certainty that food will have a higher level of safety and have fewer recalls and withdrawals,”"said Garfield.