Zip-Pak Goes The Extra Mile for Customer Health and Safety
ITW Zip-Pak’s innovative zipper-closure food pouches—think of packaged meats and shredded cheeses—are indispensable to the food industry. Packaging is an important part of the food quality chain that extends from the field and farm to the customer’s plate. The millions of customers that consume these products need to know their food is safe from allergens (such as potentially deadly peanut dust), bacteria and other harmful substances.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration establishes requirements regarding materials used in packages that come into direct contact with food; most aspects of product responsibility are at the discretion of the manufacturer.
RIGOROUS FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES
Zip-Pak’s plants—in Atlanta, New York and Illinois—take several additional, voluntary steps to ensure that the packaging is manufactured safely and responsibly. The facilities maintain certification by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), an independent organization that provides guidelines for establishing a rigorous, credible food safety management system to ensure traceability and cleanliness. The SQFI is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, a highly respected, independent global collaboration of consumer goods experts.
TRACKING EVERY PRODUCT TOUCHPOINT
Based on the SQFI guidelines, Zip-Pak maintains both a manual and computerized recordkeeping system that captures every touchpoint of the raw materials, from processing and packaging to storing and shipping. In fact, certification requires that each zipper can be traced to a particular machine, date and employee; the process is an ongoing, daily function within Zip-Pak operations. Zip-Pak employees receive intensive training on the food management safety system, and an independent third party audits the facilities annually. The auditor conducts a plant inspection, examines the food management system and training program and observes the manufacturing process.
SQFI certification is part of a larger culture of responsible sustainable manufacturing at Zip-Pak.