Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 135

34 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2016 commissioner had been announced at press time. ose two key roles are among more than 4,000 that the president-elect will be required to fill in relatively short order as part of a complex transition process. e industry will certainly be on the alert, with the only known being that the new com- mander-in-chief 's pro-business/small-government stance is — in part — what carried him to victory. In the meantime, as retailers continue to refine and retool their food safety practices in the wake of the passage of FSMA, they're running into issues related to compliance. "e legislation requirements in the FSMA include creating mandatory food safety plans, increased inspections, managing the new authorities of the FDA on rulemaking and recalls, and more," notes Liz Gonzalez, marketing manager for Safe- tyCulture, a global technology provider with offices in the United Kingdom; Australia; Lenexa, Kan.; and San Francisco. "ese pose a new operational requirement that can be time-consuming to imple- ment but costly to public health, and with possible fines if not [implemented]." Greater Transparency "e greatest challenge for retailers to ensure food safety lies in achieving total supply chain visibility all the way back to the farm or manu- facturing plant," asserts Angela Fernandez, VP of retail grocery and foodservice for Lawrenceville, N.J.-based GS1 US, leader of the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative and the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative. "Product traceability enables stakeholders to locate potentially harmful products within the supply chain in the event of a recall or foodborne illness outbreak. To do this, they need standardized data they can retrieve quickly and accurately — or precisely, to those products that Cover Story Food Safety Distribution of Safety Before food ever gets to grocery stores, it's important that the integrity of the supply chain be preserved, so along with suppliers like those registered with the Safe Quality Food Program, distribution centers are also beefing up their food safety solutions. For instance. Commerce, Calif.-based Unified Grocers, the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery cooperative in the western United States, supplying more than 2,900 retail locations, recently implemented the automated system of ReposiTrak, a division of the Park City Group, in Salt Lake City. The solution "will enable us to better manage our growing list of required documents to ensure that we remain in compliance and continue to provide safe food to our retailers and consumers, which is our top prior- ity," says Unified VP of Procurement Mark Johnson. Additionally, Salt Lake City-based Associated Food Stores (AFS), which serves more than 400 independent retailers across eight Intermountain West states, has deployed two new systems from Boise, Idaho-based PakSense, the Auto- Sense Inbound and the AutoSense Real-Time logger, at its Farr West distribution center to help monitor temperature and ensure that products comply with food safety regula- tions during transport and storage. AutoSense InBound enables AFS to track the tempera- ture of a pallet during transport from the vendor to the distribution center. Vendors purchase, program and set the chip on their pallets prior to shipping. When the pallet arrives at the distribution center, it syncs with AFS' iBrite monitoring system and provides a temperature report, allowing the receiving team to determine whether the product is safe before it accepts the load. "A few months ago, we received a load of bananas that had basically cooked inside the trailer during transport," recounts Terri Jensen, receiving manager at the distribu- tion center, who, with her team, led the effort to bring the AutoSense trackers to the facility. "With the report from AutoSense Inbound, we were able to show that it wasn't safe, and it saved us from losing the load." The AutoSense Real-Time logger, meanwhile, helps moni- tor the temperature of products stored in trailers when the distribution is in overflow. The system monitors the tempera- ture inside each trailer and sends an alert to the receiving team if any go out of range, enabling them to be quickly checked and adjusted before the product is compromised. "The AutoSense systems are basically insurance policies for us and our vendors," explains Jensen. "They allow us to ensure the products we receive and send to our stores are safe, and prevent us from losing product."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Progressive Grocer - DEC 2016