Food Safety

Keeping food safe for our customers—no matter how they choose to shop with us—is part of everything we do, and a condition of working with Kroger for our suppliers and partners. Food safety, quality assurance and regulatory compliance are at the core of our operations across all facets of our business.

Our Risk Mitigation Strategy extends across our entire business to ensure all company-operated facilities meet or exceed all food safety laws and standards. We establish and maintain science-based food preparation and handling practices, as well as develop and implement programs to address emerging food safety topics. Kroger’s food safety team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support our retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers.

Download our full PDF report for an in-depth discussion on food safety.

Our Stores

Across the country, food safety managers in our supermarket divisions help ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations, oversee associate food safety training, coach store teams on food safety best practices, coordinate the store audit process and follow-up actions, and more.

Associate Training
Associate Training

Every year, Kroger provides food safety training to associates who work in and manage our retail supermarkets. Our goal is to train 100% of new retail store associates before they serve their first customer. In 2018, we trained more than 34,000 hourly associates in Basic Food Safety through web-based learning programs.

Food Safety Process Controls
Food Safety Process Controls

Serve Up Safe Delicious Food™ is how Kroger helps raise awareness of food safety among our associates. We emphasize three core areas: 1) Foods at Safe Temperatures Behaviors, which focus on food safety and quality, 2) Sanitation and 3) Personal Hygiene.

Store Sanitation
Store Sanitation

We continuously improve our guidelines for sanitation based on industry best practices. Kroger teams follow Master Cleaning Schedules for every store department with specific instructions for equipment to be cleaned and sanitized on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.

Audits and Food Safety Reviews
Audits and Food Safety Reviews

Kroger conducts bi-monthly Food Safety Review (FSR) audits of each store. These audits – conducted by third-party firms – augment inspections by local health departments and company associates. In 2018 year, Kroger received more than 14,100 FSRs.

Our Plants

Today, we manufacture more than 40% of Our Brands food items at Kroger-operated food processing plants across the country. Making safe, wholesome food is our highest priority and we meet or exceed all regulatory and industry-accepted standards and requirements.

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

All manufacturing plants are certified to the Safe Quality Foods (SQF) standard, a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audited protocol. Every plant has an assigned Quality Assurance Manager and a Safe Quality Food Practitioner to oversee food safety performance.

Leadership and Training
Leadership and Training

Kroger requires each manufacturing facility to establish a formal Food Safety Committee made up of associates from several disciplines in the plant. All new associates receive food safety training and current associates receive refresher training at least once a year.

Food Safety Plans
Food Safety Plans

Our Food Safety Plans identify the preventative and critical control steps necessary to ensure product safety in our plants. Our facilities implement and document prerequisite programs to achieve these plans, and use internal, third-party and regulatory agency audits to verify these programs.

Distribution Centers

As with our stores and manufacturing plants, maintaining excellent food safety practices in our supply chain facilities is critical to our operations and our customers. We have 44 distribution centers across the country managing the goods that we produce and sell in our stores.

  • Food Safety and Sanitation Standards: These outline management’s responsibility and formal documented programs—Food Safety Plans—necessary to effectively establish and maintain food safety at our distribution centers.
  • Cold Chain Management Standards: Our distribution centers use these to ensure appropriate refrigeration control and product handling are conducted for the foods we receive, store and transport throughout our distribution network.