Leading the Way to Safety
Melissa’s has always been a leader in food safety, pursuing certified third party safety audits and verification programs to ensure the physical and biological safety of our products. Since our founding in 1984, Melissa’s has met or exceeded all local, state and federal food safety standards, and we ensure that our growers and supply network do the same.
We have a dedicated food safety team, and a procurement staff that visits growers all over the world. Together, they source the world’s finest, tastiest produce, and make sure it’s healthy and safe to eat.
Safe Quality Food Certification
In 2012, Melissa’s received the prestigious GFSI-accredited SQF Level 2 certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute, an organization with the mission to “deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors.”
This certification involves extensive monitoring including both scheduled and unannounced facility audits, and is recognized by retailers and food service providers worldwide.
Throughout every step of our supply and distribution chain, we assess all products and associated processes to identify potential hazards and take any necessary action to eliminate, prevent and reduce risk.
GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative, sets the highest standards for food safety. Consisting of thought leaders, retailers and scientists from around the world, GFSI accredits groups such as the Safe Quality Food Institute to grant the certifications that prove that a company is committed to those standards.
GFSI-level certification—and thus Melissa’s SQF Level 2 certification—encompasses all the guidelines for other recognized food safety programs:
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP)
- Supplier Verification, including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Good Manufacturing Processes
Melissa’s follows or exceeds all Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) set by the SQF Level 2 food safety program. GMP defines management and manufacturing practices, to ensure that food products consistently meet legislative and customer specifications. Some of these practices include:
- Employee training
- Personal hygiene and safety
- Food handling production
- Allergen control protection
Principals of Prevention
HACCP, known as the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points Plan, was developed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Association. HACCP provides a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards with the goal of protecting consumer health worldwide.
A HAACP system assesses all the steps of food production to reduce the potential for any physical, chemical or biological risks that could potentially harm consumers.
Good Agricultural Processes
For farms, Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, defines the essential elements for the development of best-practice for production, incorporating integrated crop management, integrated pest management and integrated agricultural hygienic practices.
GAP is a voluntary program utilized by growers and field packers to satisfy retail and food service buyer requirements.
Supplier Verification Program
Melissa’s requires that all of our growers and suppliers have a third-party-certified GFSI, GMP, HAACP, GAP or government safety program in place.
The supplier validation process includes monitoring growing practices including planting, harvesting and packing.
To minimize risk, Melissa’s also conducts our own site visits and uses additional third party auditors to do biological and microbiological testing.
Traceability & Records
A key part of our Food Safety Program is meticulous electronic record keeping.
Detailed trace-back and trace-forward records allow us to be nimble, so that at any time, we can determine where any product came from, not just to product origin but down to batch, lot and case number. The ability to track all movement to and from our facility helps us protect consumers and our customers by stopping potential problems before they begin.
Pillars of Safety
Public health is our top priority, and we are proud that we’ve created a system that protects not only the end consumer but our customers as well.
Our standards already meet or exceed all those set by local, state and federal laws. Even so, our goal is constant improvement, something our food safety team and rigorous certified third-party auditing help us achieve.
At Melissa’s, we take every step we can—from preventative control, vendor verification, careful supply chain management, sanitation protocols, scrupulous record keeping and ongoing employee education—to make sure you can depend on us for fresh, safe, and delicious produce.