673DD2380868440886E07F623D6A8BA7When you deal with millions of pounds of food each year, food safety is a top priority.

The American Institute of Baking (AIB) is committed to protecting the safety of the global food supply chain and delivering high value educational and technical programs.

AIB International performs detailed audits on companies in the food industry to determine if they are practicing necessary food safety measures to protect consumers.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank recently received high marks from AIB International.

It was a long road, but with dedication and lots of hard work, we scored with the best of the best in the food industry.

It took the efforts of many different individuals to receive a superior rating.

By far, the biggest improvement we’ve made at the Foodbank is the culture. The warehouse staff, drivers and facilities departments all take food safety seriously. Our staff has been trained, educated and we’ve incorporated steps into our processes to ensure the communities we serve have safe food to eat each day.

We have always held food safety to a high standard for the clients we serve. Once the food leaves our facility, we expect that it will be stored properly at our partner agencies before being distributed to food insecure individuals.

Our agencies face unique challenges such as adequate transportation of cold items and storage, but neither is an excuse for poor food safety. The AIB audit put us to the test to ensure that each step in the distribution process has measures in place to prevent food contamination.

So, what’s next? We are already planning and preparing for our next AIB audit that will take place in the next 12 to 18 months. I like to think of food safety as continuous improvement and we are determined to remain a leader in the Feeding America food bank network.

By Tim Jackson

Iinventory control manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank