Ozarks Food Harvest exceeds expectations during AIB audit

Ozarks Food Harvest exceeds expectations during AIB audit

December 11, 2019 in Bart's Hope Notes Harvest Time Newsletter

At Ozarks Food Harvest, we take food safety seriously. To ensure our food is being handled and distributed as safely as possible, we undergo a thorough inspection from the food safety professionals at AIB International every two years.

The process involves an in-depth examination of Ozarks Food Harvest’s sanitation practices, documentation processes, pest control criteria and standard operating procedures to guarantee the entire facility meets food safety standards.

We were due for our inspection this year, and I’m so proud to announce that The Food Bank received a rating of 960 out of 1,000! We also earned a perfect score for our sanitation practices.

AIB has been conducting inspections of Ozarks Food Harvest for nearly ten years. Feeding America requires these inspections to confirm we are meeting food safety standards and following proper procedures.

Maintaining excellent conditions in our warehouse and volunteer center has a direct effect on our retail donors, hunger-relief partners and on people who receive our food.

The processes and procedures that go under review with AIB aren’t just thrown together when we know the inspector is due—they are meticulously maintained every single day of the year.

AIB also thoroughly inspects Ozarks Food Harvest’s inventory. On a day-to-day basis, the inventory allows us to track food from when it’s received at our warehouse to when it’s dropped off to a partner. This is essential because if product is recalled at any point, we’re able to pull it from shelves and refrigerators before it gets to our clients.

When it’s time to sort food, our volunteers are briefed on proper food safety procedures and made aware of recalls. Staff members check the temperature of food as it comes out of the cooler or freezer and before it’s returned for storage before pickup or distribution. All of these procedures are checked and monitored by AIB during the audit.

Before food is picked up by or dropped at a pantry, Ozarks Food Harvest does one final food safety check. We do absolutely everything we can to make sure food is safe and ready for clients to take home and put on the table.

Along with food safety, auditors inspect Ozarks Food Harvest’s pest control procedures, documentation processes and so much more. The inspection allows us to double check our own processes and certify we are treating food and our facility with the proper care. We are so thankful for the auditors who help ensure food goes from our facility to the hands of our clients as safely as possible!

If you have any questions about AIB or food safety, feel free to give me a call. I would love to walk you through the process on a deeper level and show you how we’re doing the best we can to serve our hungry friends in the Ozarks.