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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In a bid to elevate consumer confidence in quality of their fresh offerings, Spartan Stores' Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Markets and Glen's Markets have achieved NSF - Shop Fresh Supermarket Certification.
NSF is an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies products and sets standards for food, water, air and consumer goods. The NSF International certification process is a voluntary program that helps supermarkets improve the quality and shelf life of their perishable products. Shop Fresh is one of NSF's comprehensive certification programs involving unannounced audits, food safety evaluation, sanitation conditions, and customer perceptions, and other measurements.
During the yearlong certification process, Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, and Glen's Markets locations were audited and tested to demonstrate compliance with NSF's food safety standards. All stores have a certified food manager working on every shift where food is being prepared or served.
"This certification gives our stores a unique point of difference and competitive edge in our markets and demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest quality products possible," said Art Shook, manger of food safety/sanitation at Spartan Stores.
Shook said Spartan Stores is now the largest supermarket retailer certified through the entire NSF organization. "The program offers our customers peace of mind that they are buying fresh, safe foods for their families," he said, adding that the NSF Certification symbol found in stores, circulars and other advertising materials sends a clear message that Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market and Glen's Markets are devoted to offering quality perishables.
The NSF certification complements Spartan's other food safety initiatives, Spartan said. More than 800 managers and associates at the banners are Food Safety Certified, using state approved training and testing curriculum. Each store conducts quarterly safety/food safety self-audits, and twice a year, each store receives formal, in-depth safety/food safety audits conducted by the Spartan Stores' health and safety department.
Annually, every associate within the stores reviews a department-specific training guide covering essential safety, food safety, and loss prevention materials. Each associate then takes an on-line quiz about the material.
Also, associates must demonstrate that they can correctly perform (hands-on) procedures and food safety/sanitation practices in front of supervisors.
A safety committee at each store meets monthly to discuss safety and food safety topics/concerns/opportunities.
Each store also receives six posters per year to display in break rooms, which communicate key safety/food safety/loss messages.
The Spartan banners join other supermarket operators in earning Shop Fresh certification, including Busch's, Sack 'n Save and Scolari's Food & Drug.
Spartan Stores distributes more than 40,000 private-label and national brand products to nearly 400 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, and also owns and operates 88 retail supermarkets and 19 deep-discount food and drug stores in Michigan and Ohio, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, Felpausch Food Centers, and The Pharm.