Kroger conducts a bi-monthly food safety review (FSR) audit of each store. These audits are conducted by third-party
firms and augment inspections conducted by local health departments and company associates. In 2015, Kroger
conducted 14,284 food safety reviews and followed up on results to resolve any issues that were identified.
Kroger monitors food safety audit results with the same rigor as financial results. We use these audit results to consistently monitor our store operations, and to understand and correct non-compliance with our own standards and those of governmental agencies.
TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION
In 2015, we provided food-safety training to more than
50,400 hourly associates. Associates working in our
perishable foods department are required to complete
food safety training and to pass tests.
Store managers must take an eight-hour course in food safety and pass the Certified Food Safety Manager (CFSM) test, a nationally accepted certification requirement. Our co-managers are also required to obtain this certification during their training. More than 4,700 store managers and co-managers earned this certification last year.
FOOD AT SAFE TEMPERATURES
Keeping foods at safe temperatures is critical to providing
fresh, high-quality products that will keep our customers
safe and coming back to our family of stores. We maintain
temperature logs to ensure all perishable foods are stored
at the proper temperature. In fact, we monitor temperatures
every four hours for cold foods and every two hours for
hot foods. Store managers review these temperature logs
routinely and during our bi-monthly Food Safety Review
We continue to find new ways to improve. We are putting an automatic temperature monitoring program in all of our refrigerated cases. To date, this equipment has been installed in nearly 1,700 stores. This program monitors temperature and trends and sends alarms to store management when temperature trends indicate warming. This alarm feature enables store associates to react to negative temperature trends well before they become food safety issues.
Products are removed from stores for many reasons. Sometimes it is due to an incorrect label. Other times an incorrect ingredient is added. On rare occasions, a product can be recalled because it may be the source of illness or injury. Kroger follows the industry and government standards for both product recalls and withdrawals. Our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week process for quickly removing from sale any recalled or withdrawn product leads the industry. Kroger was one of the first retailers to implement a customer notification system for certain types of recalls. Using our customer loyalty database, we are able to quickly notify customers via register receipts and phone calls about recalls of products they may have purchased.
Kroger believes in the importance of continuous improvement in the food safety area. In 2015, every Kroger manufacturing plant received full Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification. These standards are best-in-class and require the constant improvement in food safety as measured by certified third-party auditing companies. All of our private label suppliers are required to have GFSI certification.