Food safety is a priority for the Greater Chicago Food Depository team. As part of this commitment to ensuring that the food we distribute is safe, the Food Depository undergoes a rigorous annual assessment: the Distribution Center Food Safety and Quality Systems Audit, administered by Merieux NutriSciences.
“We strive to be leaders in food safety, excelling beyond the status quo,” says Michael Goss, Manager of Food Safety. While the Food Depository has consistently scored above 98% on this assessment, this year set a new record. The Food Depository achieved a score of 99.2% on the food safety audit, its highest score ever.
Preparation for the food safety audit involved a coordinated effort for staff. With over 200,000 square feet of warehouse space, the Food Depository facility contains an ever-changing variety of shelf-stable and fresh food. Both the facility and documentation are covered in the audit, which comprises a 470-point evaluation. Every element of the operation, from equipment to sanitation to pest control and more, is included in the audit.
According to Michael Goss, the outstanding success on the food safety audit goes beyond a checklist of best practices: it’s part of the culture. “Food safety culture really became the focus,” he says. “There was a lot of ongoing training and support. The entire organization really embraced the culture and it made a difference. Everybody really cares and works as a team.”
Sheila Creghin, Vice President of Operations, agrees that the team’s united effort made the difference: “The audit results represent the dedicated commitment of our great team day in and day out to ensure the food we distribute to our partner agencies in our community is safe for the clients we serve.”
Congratulations to the Food Depository team on ensuring safe and wholesome food for the community!