Contact: Marcia Paulson, (701) 232-6219
Great Plains Food Bank receives superior rating during food safety audit
Audit recognized as most stringent in the food industry
(April 23, 2015) - The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, earned a superior rating – scoring 950 out of 1,000 – during its first scored audit by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International. The audit rates food safety, sanitary working conditions, employee training, and the proper handling of food products and ingredients.
AIB International standards are internationally recognized as the most stringent in the food industry. Major donors of food products use AIB International ratings and certifications to verify that a food bank uses best practices in its operation.
“Our superior rating assures people in the food industry that their food donations will be handled properly,” said JoAnn Matthews, Great Plains Food Bank operations director.
AIB International also promotes safety in the food supply chain through education, research, and technical services. The Great Plains Food Bank staff used these resources to learn best practices and prepare for the audit, noting that staff training is one of the most important things the food bank does to ensure quality.
Last year the Great Plains Food Bank and its partner network recovered, safely handled, and distributed food for a record 11.4 million meals – touching the lives of more than 87,700 children, seniors, and adults living day to day with hunger.
“We recognize our responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of the food we receive from food industry donors,” said Steve Sellent, Great Plains Food Bank program director. “This responsibility is reflected in our goal to implement all the AIB standards for the handling, storage, and distribution of shelf-stable, fresh, and frozen products to our hungry neighbors in need.”
Sellent said the high score received demonstrates the food bank’s values of leadership and integrity, as well as the dedication, skills, and overall excellence of a great operations team.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank serves as North Dakota’s only food bank. Its partner network includes 311 charitable feeding sites operating in 113 communities across North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. Since 1983 the Great Plains Food bank and its partners have distributed food for more than 114 million meals to children, seniors and families in need. The Great Plains Food Bank is a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a statewide social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans in need with affordable housing, disaster recovery, counseling and therapy and other programs that strengthen individuals, families and communities; a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network; and supported by United Way.