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RICHMOND, Va. - Performance Food Group on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized its Fresh Express subsidiary and its national director of raw product quality & food safety, Frances Pabrua, with its CFSAN Team Award.
Fresh Express was acknowledged for exceptional performance in developing, planning and conducting the Produce Farm Investigations Training Course and GAPs Train the Trainer for FDA. Sponsored by the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), participants in the course included FDA personnel, State of California investigators and representatives of the Mexican Government Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the FDA CFSAN, Fresh Express and Pabrua were selected for providing invaluable assistance to the FDA in developing and implementing the train-the-trainer course, an intensive educational and skills-building curriculum focusing on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and food safety practices in the field.
Fresh Express developed and implemented the industry's first comprehensive, multi-step program to assure quality and food safety in the field through growing and harvesting practices. The Fresh Express Raw Product Quality and Food Safety program is directed to all field-to-plant operations and Fresh Express contract growers. The program requires strict adherence to the FDA guidelines, GAPs, and includes monitoring, field audits and grower certification. Pabrua, an accomplished agriculturalist and former regulatory official, spearheaded the development of the program for Fresh Express and continues to lead its national implementation.
"We are very pleased to be recognized by the FDA for our commitment to food safety. All of our associates - especially Frances and her team - should be very proud of their accomplishment," said Mark Drever, president of Fresh Express.
Performance Food Group markets and distributes more than 51,000 national and private label food and food-related products to approximately 46,000 restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, schools, healthcare facilities and other institutions.