Earlier this week, General Mills released its 2017 Global Responsibility Report. The annual document explains the brand’s approach to creating environmental, social and economic value in the countries where it operates. One of the key highlights in this year’s report is that General Mills boosted its spending on food safety from $13 million in 2015 to $16 million in 2016. This increase represents 8 percent of the company’s essential capital investment in 2016 that was dedicated to food safety projects.
- General Mills has trained over 600 quality professionals and has more than 55 certified quality engineers monitoring food safety across the globe.
- All of General Mills’ facilities are audited and/or certified by third-party vendors using globally recognized food safety criteria.
- 80 percent of General Mills’ owned production facilities are Global Food Safety Initiative-certified.
“Safety is a priority focus area for our company leadership and part of our culture. Leading with safety – both the safety of our employees in the workplace and the food they make – is one of the key operating principles that guides our work.” says the report.
Part of General Mills’ dedication to safe foods includes collaborating with suppliers, partners, industry peers and regulators. Previously, the brand has worked to establish and share best practices with the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the Food Safety Learning Alliance, and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
In terms of proper sanitation, General Mills has invested in its very own Global Sanitation Center of Excellence that trains employees as well as suppliers and co-producers on proper sanitation techniques.
As a prevention step, General Mills regularly conducts mock recalls at its warehouses, production facilities and co-production sites worldwide. Results are shared annually as part of a global report. The company conducted 10 voluntary recalls in fiscal 2016, including some of the brand’s Gluten-Free Cheerios, flour, and cake mix products. In reality, the brand suffered a number of food recalls in 2016–Gold Medal flour and Betty Crocker cake mix both due to Escherichia coli contamination, frozen vegetarian meals due to Listeria, and granola bars also due to Listeria.
In fiscal 2016, General Mills increased training to support compliance with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)’s Preventive Controls Rule. More than 120 employees participated in Preventive Controls Qualified Individual training, four employees were trained as lead instructors and one person was certified to train the trainers, helping the company to scale this knowledge across the organization.
General Mills employs 39,000 workers in 32 countries and has 59 production facilities worldwide.
See the company’s 2017 Global Responsibility Report in its entirety on their official website.