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Promoting safe foods in foodservice is both good global citizenship and good business, and two groups — one a nonprofit and one a distributor — are doing their part to ensure the foodservice products that reach the American consumer are the safest possible.
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods, is calling for nominations for the 2010 Food Safety Leadership Awards (FSLA) Program. Now in its seventh year, the FSLA program recognizes individuals and companies that have demonstrated food safety excellence in the foodservice industry.
FSLA winners are recognized in one of eight award categories: education, training, equipment design, packaging innovation, product development, research advances, system improvement and technology breakthroughs. One individual is also recognized with a lifetime achievement award for significant contributions to advancing food safety.
The 2010 FSLA award recipients will be announced at the Food Safety Summit on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, in the morning prior to the keynote speech at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center.
Nominations will be evaluated based on creativity, innovation, design, contribution to the advancement of food safety, and overall quality of contributions made by an independent panel of food safety experts. Deadline for nominations is Fri., Jan. 29, 2010.
Nominators can submit their forms online or by mail to Cristin Colling, marketing manager, NSF International, 789 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, or [email protected].
Additional information is available via www.nsf.org/business/newsroom/fs_awards.asp or by calling 800.NSF.MARK or by calling 800-NSF-MARK or 734.827.5627.
In related news, U.S. Foodservice, one of America’s largest foodservice distributors, continues to advocate for the development and implementation of internationally recognized accreditation and certification processes to certify suppliers in food safety around the world.
Recent presentations given by U.S. Foodservice in partnership with global initiatives like the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and GLOBALGAP (Good Agricultural Practices) are among the company’s leadership actions.
Jorge Hernandez, SVP of food safety and quality assurance of Rosemont, Ill.-based U.S. Foodservice, presented on the topic of food safety on behalf of GFSI at INFOFOOD 2009 in Santiago, Chile, in late October 2009. The summit drew more than 500 industry leaders from five countries to discuss food safety issues.
In his presentation, Hernandez discussed the factors that have created a lack of efficiency and high costs in the supply chain, including the proliferation of private regulation schemes, as well as the burden and expense for producers and suppliers who are subject to frequent audits that don’t always increase product safety.
To combat these inefficiencies, Hernandez explained GFSI’s approach of creating commonly agreed-to criteria for food safety standards against which any supplier can be benchmarked.
U.S. Foodservice also reinforced the company’s commitment to harmonizing international food safety regulation in a presentation to GLOBALGAP’s TOUR 2009 in Washington, D.C.
The tour is part of the organization’s outreach and consultation to key stakeholders potentially affected by its new guidelines, which will be published in 2011. The presentation explained the growing demand in the United States for mandatory and voluntary third-party verification programs for international suppliers’ safety standard compliance.
“Our goal is to make food safety standards and protection methods as global as our food supply,” said Hernandez. “We look forward to continuing to work with our industry partners to ensure that food safety standards translate successfully to all the countries involved in the global food chain.”