Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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36 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2016 Safer Sprouts Rä Foods LLC has developed Cold Grown Rä Nanoshoots as an alternative to traditional sprouts, which often have food safety issues. Tiny living plants grown in sealed packages at cold temperatures to ensure the highest level of food safety, Rä Nano- shoots have a naturally long shelf life of 21 days that the company maintains means less shrink for grocers and bet- ter value for shoppers As well as being ready to eat, avail- able year-round and produced sustain- ably, the nanoshoots are herbicide-, pesticide- and GMO-free, and use only a fraction of the water required to grow traditional sprouts. "We wanted to go beyond the stan- dard practices of seed sanitation and water testing as the means of assuring food safety," explains Dan Sholl, general manager of Sacramento, Calif.-based Rä Foods, which worked with The Vista Institute LLC on the product. The traditional sprout-growing process germinates seed under conditions that encourage the growth of dangerous seedborne pathogens, and also requires a considerable amount of product handling that can introduce environmental pathogens. "Cold became our key to inhibiting pathogen growth," notes Susan Harlander, managing partner, The Vista Institute, in Eden Prairie, Minn. "After more than two years of research, we succeeded in developing the patent-pend- ing Cold Grown process that creates a product environment hostile to pathogens, and allows Rä Nanoshoots to grow in the package to prevent environmental contamination." Rä Nanoshoots come in several varieties: Clover, Clover/Alfalfa, Clover/Broccoli blend, and Spicy Blend (Clover/Radish blend). Packed six 3-ounce clamshells per case, Cold Grown Rä Nanoshoots are currently available on a limited basis at select West Coast grocers. own audits and thereby providing management visibility over all store operations. In a similar vein, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets recently upgraded to PAR Technol- ogy's SureCheck Advantage Solution, a state-of-the- art food safety and checklist system that captures required data in real time and synchronizes it to the SureCheck cloud for seamless, automated storage and recall of food safety records for management, maintenance, analytics and auditing, at all 95 of its stores. Before the grocer deployed New Hartford, N.Y.-based PAR's SureCheck in November 2015, it was still using paper-and-pencil recording methods. "PAR's SureCheck Advantage is a key tool in the day-to-day operation of Wegmans foodservice," says Tom Adams, Wegmans' food safety coordinator. "SureCheck Advantage has provided a 15 percent to 25 percent improvement in operational efficiency, and the cloud-based online reporting saves time and money from our original paper recording process." Additionally, the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program and ReposiTrak Inc., a subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based Park City Group and a provider of compliance management and track-and-trace solutions for food, pharma and dietary supplement safety, have joined forces to integrate SQF audit management into ReposiTrak's compliance man- agement system. e partnership aims to benefit SQF's thousands of registered suppliers, as well as its certification bodies and auditors, in managing the audit process from initial request and payment, through collection of results and reporting. As part of the initiative, ReposiTrak will host and provide exclusive access to SQF's audit results database. e collaboration also lets SQF-registered sup- pliers use ReposiTrak's compliance management system to collect and manage all of their vendor documents in one place, including SQF-required documents such as a current register of approved vendors, along with third-party audits and food safety plans, and other vital business documents. Notes Robert Garfield, SVP of the Safe Qual- ity Food Institute (SQFI), a division of Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute: "is is an exciting time at SQFI, as we look to roll out ver- sion 8 of the SQF Code, a new Retail/Wholesale Grocery Program, and start gaining extensive supplier and buyer use and support of our Ethi- cal Sourcing Certification. We were looking for a technology partner to help us raise the bar not only with our data management and reporting, but also with upgrades to all of our user interfaces." By focusing on transparency, the grocery channel can ensure greater compliance with FMSA, as well as keep pace with a rapidly changing retail landscape. "e grocery industry is evolving quickly, along with consumer expectations," notes GS1 US' Fer- nandez. "e safety of our food supply will con- tinue to hold center stage, and advancements will be needed even as sales and supply chain channels diversify. For example, e-commerce is a growing area, and carrying food safety precautions through to this channel will require the same diligence in traceability." PG The greatest challenge for retailers to ensure food safety lies in achieving total supply chain visibility all the way back to the farm or manufacturing plant." —Angela Fernandez, GS1 US Cover Story Food Safety

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