Many grocery stores now also operate kitchens or commissaries on site, which further intensifies the complexity of delivering safe, nutritious and affordable food to consumers. Because grocers warehouse everything from meat and poultry to produce and dairy – much of which sits on shelves or displays for extended periods of time – there are countless opportunities for sustained contamination.
With your own reputation and financial margins at stake, it’s unwise to be complacent about food safety or leave it in the hands of manufacturers. In fact, the FDA just proposed new food recall guidelines to disclose the names of grocers that have received a contaminated product. In terms of public awareness, this would more closely link your brand name to food safety incidents that occurred before the products even arrived at your loading dock.
Demand more from suppliers
Given these major risks, grocers must have automated, efficient ways to collect and access on-site pathogen testing data in real time, as well as manage, analyze and communicate that data to prevent contamination issues as early as possible. The only way to ensure that you’re working with safe foods from the start is by adopting a solution that enables you to access and analyze information on your suppliers’ food safety performance.
Vigorously defend your own stores! Adopt a vigilant oversight program based on FDA and USDA best practices for manufacturers. There are no “lines” anymore – everyone has to adapt to the realization that risk doesn’t end when the food is manufactured and shipped. Everyone in the supply chain is equally responsible.
As grocery stores transform their offerings and face increasingly complex food supply chains, technology has become integral to safeguarding the brand. Be active in protecting your reputation, preserving the livelihood of your brand, and, most importantly, keeping your consumers safe and healthy.