Food service and food retail join forces on food safety
(Washington, DC) – The National Restaurant Association today announced a major new strategic alliance to share best food safety practices and the use of common food safety standards worldwide. The National Restaurant Association and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), managed by CIES – The Food Business Forum, will now work closely together to strengthen food safety systems and increase consumer confidence.
Working together, with one voice, the restaurant industry and food retailers will be stronger working towards shared goals and objectives of convergence between food safety standards. This will be done through maintaining a benchmarking process for food safety management schemes and improving cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain through the common acceptance of GFSI recognized standards around the world. The alliance will provide a unique international stakeholder platform for networking, knowledge exchange and sharing of best food safety practice and information.
The Global Food Safety Initiative will be greatly strengthened through the participation of the foodservice sector at both the Board of Directors and Technical Committee levels. Cindy Jiang, Director of Worldwide Quality, Food Safety, and Nutrition for McDonald’s Corporation, will be joining the GFSI Board of Directors.
“Through this alliance, we are well on track to achieving the GFSI goal of developing and maintaining one common framework of internationally recognized standards,” said Roland Vaxelaire, Director of Risk, Responsibility and Quality for the Carrefour Group and Chairman of GFSI. “This will go a long way to helping to provide consistent products which are safe for both the retail and foodservice sector customers worldwide.”
“Food safety is one of the restaurant industry’s highest priorities, and we believe the goals and objectives of the Global Food Safety Initiative provides a consistent framework to strengthen food safety systems along the foodservice supply chain and increase consumer confidence,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association.
The Global Food Safety Initiative continues to grow in importance in the world of food safety internationally, with the alignment in 2007 of four major food safety management schemes with its Guidance Document (BRC, Dutch HACCP, IFS and SQF) and the common acceptance of these standards by 7 major international retailers (Carrefour, Delhaize, Metro, Migros, Royal Ahold, Tesco and Wal-Mart).