NEW YORK — Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Wal-Mart Stores, encouraged other food retailers to join Wal-Mart and several other major global retailers in embracing the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an effort to create and adopt uniform food safety standards. Yiannas addressed food safety yesterday in a webinar, “The Future of a Safe Global Food Supply,” hosted by SN and sponsored by NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich. “The hope is that more retailers and foodservice organizations are going to join us in this effort,” he said. “[GSFI] is our greatest opportunity to create a universal standard of safe food, and advance food safety and the quality of life for consumers around the world.” Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark., has set a “due date” of December 2008 by which the “bulk of our private-label suppliers” are expected to acquire a factory certification showing compliance with one of the GFSI standards. The rest of its private-label and fresh-food suppliers will have until July 2009.
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