Food Safety & Quality Assurance
Food safety is the heart of our business. We take it very seriously, and we continually
review every aspect of our operations to ensure we are doing everything possible
to provide safe, nutritious products to our customers and consumers.
As a fully integrated poultry company, we monitor every aspect of the production
process – from the hatchery to the farm to the processing plant – to ensure we are
providing our customers with high-quality products. Every Pilgrim's processing facility
in the U.S. is regularly inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food
Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to ensure that our food products meet federal
food safety standards.
Each year we conduct numerous food safety and quality system audits using accredited,
independent auditing firms.
In 2010 and 2011, all of our poultry processing plants achieved an "A" grade in
the British Retailers Consortium audit, one of four audits recognized by the Global
Food Safety Initiative. These audits, which today are required by most of our retail
customers, are used to evaluate a plant's food safety and quality programs. With
326 requirements that must be met before a final certification grade can be given,
the audit is among the toughest in the industry. Earning a "clean sweep" of A's
for two years was an unprecedented achievement, and we are extremely proud of each
of our plants for their dedication and commitment to food safety and quality standards.
We conduct a rigorous food safety training program for our employees. All new employees
receive training on quality assurance (QA) and food safety issues when they are
hired, and participate in additional job-specific training depending on the employee's
role in the production environment. In addition, all plant employees, management
and QA/HACCP staff receive ongoing training on food safety policies and practices.
Pilgrim's adopted the USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
systems in 1989 – a full 10 years before the USDA established HACCP as the rule
for meat and poultry processing plants. HACCP is a process control system that strengthens
food safety by prioritizing and controlling potential hazards throughout the production
Over the years, Pilgrim's has invested millions of dollars in new poultry-processing
equipment and quality assurance programs to improve the microbiological profile
of our products, and these investments have clearly had a significant impact. We
consistently outperform industry averages on pathogen reduction.
In addition, our toll-free consumer hotline, 800.321.1470, is available 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week to answer questions from the public.