Food safety is a fundamental part of the NPC brand. NPC’s reputation rests on ensuring clients a high quality, hygienic and safe supply of produce. Our proprietary food safety process, called PASS (Produce Alert Safety System), uses a set of published protocols to:
- Ensure rapid transmission of information when a safety and health issue arises
- Recognize that there are levels of safety and that businesses need to quickly know the nature and severity of the problem in order to react accordingly
- Deploy technology to ensure supply chain participation
It begins with the appointment of an NPC CSO (Chief Safety Officer), who acts as a point person in organizing incoming and outgoing safety information. NPC processes guide the CSO – or anyone in the company – in knowing who to communicate with, when to communicate and what to communicate.
Three Levels of Alert
NPC clients and partners are notified immediately when a safety issue arises. As the nature and severity of a food safety issue can vary, business owners need to know the specific nature of a problem and the remedial actions to take.
So, NPC uses three levels of communication to communicate three levels of security.
Yellow: “Safety Advisory”
In the case of a grower/ shipper warning, or a voluntary recall, a Safety Advisory is sent from NPC to all distributors alerting them to the name of the grower and product details, such as lot number. NPC automatically sends out an IRIS alert that requests information from the distributor and requires a response within 4 hours. Affected NPC clients are informed, and responses archived at NPC.
Orange: “Safety Alert”
This could involve a grower/shipper voluntary or mandatory recall, but it represents a clear and proven food safety issue. In these cases, NPC takes two immediate actions:
- An e-mail with a link to an IRIS survey is sent to a pre-agreed list of distributors and clients
- An automated message is sent via telephone and text message notifying recipients of the safety alert and directing them to the e-mail survey
Clients are contacted as necessary at either the corporate or store level, as previously agreed.
Red: “Pull and Destroy”
In the rare case of a severe produce safety hazard, NPC staff immediately call all clients to alert them to pull and destroy the affected produce. A follow-up survey is then sent to ensure any remaining product in the supply chain is identified and contained.
Immediate Response Information System (IRIS)
The NPC PASS system is powered by Tech Radium's IRIS system, which uses a mix of media to communicate advisories, alerts and recall warnings. The alert asks recipients to answer five brief questions in order to know where affected produce is in the system, and ensures NPC can pre-empt any restaurant and consumer exposure to the product in question.
In the event of a food safety issue, you will be notified of the severity and necessary actions via the NPC Pass System. As a part of this, you will be asked to complete the IRIS survey. Responses to the survey will be archived with NPC.