In today’s world you don’t need to search the internet very long to find a food safety story. Unfortunately many of these stories involve food safety scandals or product recalls that may actually be nothing but can scare consumers. A recent Progressive Grocer article stated that “Consumer confidence in the safety of foods and beverages sold in the U.S. has dropped over the past five years, according to market research firm Multi-sponsor Surveys, Inc.” The same article listed the four most mentioned food safety concerns of survey participants:
- The safety of imported foods
- Exposure to pesticides on foods
- Exposure to food-borne pathogens
- Use of antibiotics or growth hormones in livestock
Fortunately for companies in the food service industry it has become easier in recent years to track food and help instill confidence in customers. A recent industry-wide Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) brought up the discussion of tracking products. As one survey respondent stated, “Traceability is important to ensure effectiveness in the event of a recall. Customers need to know that retailers, wholesalers and producers have a system in place to ensure timely removal of product, as well as being able to keep consumers informed.” Another respondent said simply, “It provides us and customers with peace of mind.”
Having a plan in place and the equipment necessary to successfully execute this plan are key factors in instilling confidence in your customers.