Costco so far this year has already surpassed the 4,700 fresh produce safety audits it conducted 2010 in effort to prevent E. coli, salmonella, other outbreaks, says company official

LOS ANGELES , October 27, 2011 () – So far this year Costco has surpassed the 4,700 fresh produce safety audits it conducted in 2010, as the company concentrates on the prevention of E. coli, salmonella and other outbreaks, The Packer reported Oct. 25.

Speaking at Fresh Summit 2011 last week, Costco’s audits supervisor, Milinda Dwyer, discussed the Issaquah, Washington-based company’s concern for food safety at its nearly 500 U.S. stores. Recent fatal outbreaks of food-related illnesses have brought food safety practices under greater scrutiny both within the industry and among the public.

The introduction this year of the Food Safety Modernization Act has imposed new compliancy requirements on produce purchasers, while growers face increased safety audits, which on average cost from between US$195 to $1,300.

Costco, though, said it faces few problems in this area, according to Dwyer, who said the company’s suppliers were performing well.

The primary source of this article is The Packer, Lenexa, Kansas, on Oct. 25, 2011.

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