Few things are more important in life than the quality of life itself.
Today, it seems more than ever before, the public is focused on eating a raw, high fiber, low fat, low sodium diet to maintain optimum health and increase the chances of a longer span of time in which to enjoy this higher quality of life. Loosely translated that means, at least in part, consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. G. Cefalu & Bro., Inc. takes our part in those goals to heart in our business of providing the highest level of quality produce to our customers.
Mother Nature is always an unpredictable and often an unkind variable in the availability and quality of the products we can offer. We maintain a relationship with multiple suppliers of all of our products so we have the ability to adjust when availability of commodities are adversely affected by the unexpected. To assure that our vendors share our quality commitment we source our products from farms, packing houses, and distributors that are audited by independent third party certification bodies. These audits verify that our suppliers implement and their workforce consistently adheres to established Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the field or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the production, processing, or storage facility.
When your product arrives at our dock, our trained receiving staff inspects every shipment to ensure the commodities we receive meet or exceed USDA #1 product specifications. The inspection process includes an inspection of the transport vehicle for signs of damage, unusual odors, and any evidence of pest activity. Consistent temperature controls during transport also play a crucial part in product quality and expected shelf life, so all products are checked for proper pulp temperatures as they are unloaded. Sensory evaluations of each product are performed to determine if they exhibit bruising, decay, skin breakdown, and scarring beyond acceptable tolerances dictated by the USDA. To be considered acceptable certain products must also meet quality standards regarding characteristics such as shape, size, and coloring.
Quality Control personnel continually check our stock inventory for any degradation of products while they are in storage at our facility to insure that our customers receive the freshest, highest quality ingredients possible.
Another integral part of maintaining product quality is the practice of food safety procedures during the storage, handling, processing, and shipping of those products.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011 forges the necessity of quality assurance and food safety measures to go hand in hand throughout the supply chain. The FSMA’s primary goal is to promote the importance of reducing foodborne illness and product recalls by placing more emphasis on the preventive measures practiced by industry as a whole.
Furthering the old adage of “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”. In order to facilitate a unified “Farm to Fork” food safety implementation, every establishment that has a hand in getting produce from Mother Earth to your mouth must be committed to make sure that “hand” is a clean one. Food safety is much like a fork in the sense that it has many tines (prongs). An effective food safety program must take many factors into account.
Biological, chemical, and physical hazards are identified and addressed through a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program. In short, this means taking the time to define which hazards exist with your product or within your facility whether naturally or externally introduced and determining what you can do to reduce, prevent, or eliminate that hazard using a scientifically based process.
Preventive programs such as personal hygiene, pest control, sanitation, foreign material detection, and food security are just a few of the necessary processes that need to be in place and continuously in practice to protect the food supply from both intentional and accidental contamination. Everyone involved in the process must be educated regarding the known hazards associated with the products they are handling and then show commitment through their everyday activities to do everything in their power to prevent those hazards from compromising product safety and quality.
Having a Food Safety Culture engrained in every employee is of paramount importance and we are proud of the dedication to our food safety program exhibited by our entire staff.
G. Cefalu & Bro., Inc. consistently strives to keep abreast of the ever changing regulatory landscape and technological advances available in the spectrum of food safety, to provide assurance that we not only supply the highest quality, but also the safest products to you, our valued customer.