FMI Initiates Defensive Action on Food Safety

Alarmed by a dramatic drop in consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply, Food Marketing Institute is taking preemptive steps to prevent further erosion and be prepared in case of another food safety scare.

CHICAGO — Alarmed by a dramatic drop in consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply, Food Marketing Institute is taking preemptive steps to prevent further erosion and be prepared in case of another food safety scare. The FMI board of directors has formed a special task force, chaired by Danny Wegman, chairman and CEO, Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., to establish strategic guidelines on food safety and recall, Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of FMI, told attendees to the Speaks presentation yesterday. FMI also released a new set of standards for leafy greens, and safety audit standards for farm-raised salmon. Hammonds urged members to educate consumers on safe food-handling practices through a new logo — Be Food Safe — targeted to adults rather than children. He told grocery buyers to make sure all suppliers are SQF certified. According to FMI, consumer confidence has fallen 16% in just one year from 82% to 66%. Hammonds said the falloff in confidence was dramatic, and called on the industry to take effective response measures to any future negative publicity and recalls.