Archive for the ‘Sourcing Safe Foods’ Category

We’re All in This Together! But this could be YOU!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020



Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

We are all trying our best to stay safe and healthy in this COVID-19 world by following all of the recommendations for proper distancing from others, wearing protective masks, and washing our hands so much that they have dried out. I even tune in to watch our governor’s daily updates which begin and end with the phrase “We’re all in this together”, and regularly check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for any new developments. That having been said, we are all basically on our own at this point, because the CDC can neither control nor prevent any of the issues related to COVID-19. Even the most well informed and well intentioned of us will have trouble navigating the system of ever changing guidelines.

According to the CDC, there are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC, whereas medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers. They go on to say, not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.

There are not nearly enough test kits available, so screenings are reserved for the frontline caregivers and the critically ill. For everyone else (celebrities excluded), if you have awareness of exposure or are experiencing symptoms, your only option is to shelter in place and hope for the best. Keeping in mind there is currently no treatment specifically approved for people who have COVID-19. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

It’s a fine line with no clear guidelines. COVID-19 testing differs by location. Call your doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. No one wants to either expose others or be unnecessarily exposed to a deadly virus, so we sequester, listen, and wait. That brings me to where I currently find myself.

After experiencing symptoms for about 10 days, I decided to log in to confer with my healthcare provider through MyChart and request an eVisit to discuss my symptoms and ask for a consult. Twenty-four hours later I received a call from the office assistant to set up a call with my family physician for the next day. A day later, I finally engage in the physician consult and since they do not have access to testing supplies, I am treated as though I have Coronavirus and I am provided with prescription meds to alleviate symptoms and advised to self-quarantine which of course I was already doing. In light of the stories I have witnessed during the last couple of months, I am just happy to be still alive. This is us!

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Where does your Thanksgiving turkey come from?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. Archives

For as long as I can remember my family has bought their Thanksgiving turkey from Bowman & Landes Turkey Farm, located in New Carlisle, Ohio. As a family, we have bought from them because they are a local family run farm and business, they are healthy birds, and they are USDA inspected. Those are the things I knew growing up, however further research of their farm has taught me a lot more and makes me and my family all the more proud of this family run business. They have been running antibiotic free, free range, and not fed any animal by-products long before it was considered to be the “in thing” to do.  Please see the information below from their website.

Can you say any of these things about your turkey?

Turkeys have been raised on the Bowman & Landes turkey farm since 1948. We are proud to be in our fourth generation, with three generations actively involved.

The original mission to produce the highest quality free range turkeys’ using the most natural home grown grains has not changed and continues to drive our organization. Our commitment to quality and excellence includes the grain we grow, the turkeys we produce, and the customers we serve.

Nutrition is very important in producing the highest quality turkey possible. Our turkeys are grown antibiotic free and are not fed any animal by-products. We farm 2200 acres and consider ourselves to be good stewards of the land. Where possible, we use turkey compost to fertilize our fields. No till and minimum tillage practices are used in order to save our precious Miami County soil. We harvest and dry our own grain and store it on our farm. Our natural grains, consisting of wheat, corn, and soybeans are ground and mixed on the farm and fed fresh to the turkeys. Bowman & Landes was the proud recipient of the 2007  Ohio Environmental Stewardship award for poultry, and also the Miami County Soil and Water Cooperator of the year for 2006.

Baby turkeys, called poults, are started in climate controlled barns. As the turkeys mature, they are moved to an outdoor range where they are provided with feeders, waterers, and shelters. Heavy duty fencing is used for their protection from predators. Turkeys thrive on the open range, where they have plenty of room to roam in the fresh air and sunshine.

A male turkey, or tom, is raised to market age in 18-20 weeks. A female, or hen, is raised in 14-17 weeks of age. Our turkeys, whether tom or hen, all have the same tenderness, flavor, and texture.

Each turkey is U.S.D.A inspected by a government inspector to help ensure a wholesome product. Our unique feeding program causes Bowman & Landes turkeys to have a natural tenderness, which results in shorter cooking times and excellent flavor. Our turkeys are naturally self-basting and moist without additives.

Bowman & Landes offers fresh whole turkeys and turkey products during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter seasons. Whole frozen turkeys, breasts, boneless roasts, and breast fillets are available throughout the year. Fresh cooked turkey breast, smoked turkey breast, turkey ham, and many more products are available year round in our retail store located on our farm, as well as in many quality restaurants and meat markets throughout Ohio. 

Now I am sure my grandparents’ and parents’ could have gone to the local supermarket and bought their turkey for a cheap, cents per pound, but not knowing where those turkeys have come from or how they have been raised just didn’t make them feel comfortable feeding to our family. Sure they paid a little more back then, just as I do today, but I feel pride of buying local, supporting local business and now truly knowing that for years our turkey was raised in the best possible methods makes me feel so my safer and happier serving the best.

By researching your food source is truly the only way you know you are feeding yourself and your family the very best.

We at SafeSourcing wish you and your family the very best and happiest Thanksgivings.

Please feel free to contact us on how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement needs, or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Great Companies use standards to support their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and drive towards Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019


Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

I originally wrote this post eight years ago. However when earnings calls take place or some  recent factor like trade with China impact our markets, it is all that anyone reports on. I listen to lots of earnings calls. It is not very often that an analyst asks about progress in these areas. What are your TBL results and how do you report them?

Contributions to the welfare of society can come in many forms such as supporting the arts, further education, give to social welfare agencies, supporting community-building initiatives, reducing pollution, and the other charitable causes. Businesses that adopt socially responsible directives help to allow government agencies to minimize their involvement with the corporation. Reporting on these advances as well as their financial progress is TBL in its most pure form.

One way that  companies can add  to their  social consciousness is to try and use Certified Reference Materials or (CRM’s) which are ‘controls’ or standards used to check the quality and traceability of products. Requiring these standards prior to purchasing products indicates a lot about companies commitment to its stakeholders which includes its consumers and those associated with them. It also mitigates risk should recalls occur as a result of harm.

As an example, a reference standard for a unit of measurement is an artifact that embodies the quantity of interest in a way that ties its value to the reference base. At the highest level, a primary reference standard is assigned a value by direct comparison with the reference base.

A primary standard is usually under jurisdiction of a national standards body such as the ISO or The International Organization for Standardization which is an international standard -setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Relative to an example of a primary standard, you might refer to the Future ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility published as Draft International Standard which ties very nicely to this post.

If you’d like to learn more about our SafeSoureIt™  Global Supplier Database with over 427,000  suppliers and the certifications they support, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Understanding the Technology of Traceability!

Friday, September 14th, 2018


Today?s post is?from our?SafeSourcing?Archives

GS1, the global standards body, the FDA, and the USDA are just a few of the organizations that are striving to increase the safety of the food we eat with new standards, processes and regulations.? With recent scares in several food items in the past few years it is no wonder that people are becoming extremely focused? on how to trace our food back to its original source.? In today?s blog we will look at some of the technologies that are helping with this process.

Enterprise Software ? There are many enterprise systems out there for warehouse management and enterprise resource management that can maintain the necessary data needed to meet traceability and recall requirements but the key to these programs working for your business is whether or not they have the additional features necessary to track category/industry specific details such as those faced by seafood and meat retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers.? Companies such as JustFoodERP specialize in tracking meat and seafood by-products during the course of their life, tracking not only down to individual cases, but also providing capabilities such as the Recipe Management module to help track the by-products of the meat and seafood into other products they sell.? By managing catch-weights with a serial number tracking system, solutions like these can ensure best practices for traceability throughout their organization.

RFID ? Radio Frequency Identification is not a new technology but continued development of the technology for use in traceability improves daily.? Like a barcode it can contain a unique identifier that will trace the product back to its source.? Unlike a barcode, RFID tags can be secured to be difficult to tamper with or damage, they can be placed in packaging as opposed to outside the packaging like barcodes that must be able to be seen, and unlike barcodes they can be written to and updated as the product travels through the supply chain.? With one scan an RFID tag can provide the appropriate user pages worth of information without having to be connected to an enterprise solution which can be critical when a recall is being tracked.

DNA Sampling ? During the major meat recalls in the early 2000?s, DNA sampling began to take shape and developed as an alternative to typical tracing methods at that time.? With a global database of animal DNA it is possible to trace every product and byproduct back the farm or processing point of origin.? Taking DNA samples from the each carcass at the farm or packaging plant, a profile is created and stored in the database.? At any point a new sample can be taken to verify the contents and origin of the meet.? The process is virtually tamper-proof and would eliminate costly barcodes and documents and would also allow retailers and distributors to know exactly which shipments to recall, saving millions of dollars.

For more information about how we can assist you in looking into these technologies for your business, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.? We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

More on E.coli and Food Safety

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018


Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

I am as guilty as most people when it comes to eating raw cookie dough – especially chocolate chip dough! On May 31st, the FDA issued a warning not to eat raw cookie dough because of an outbreak of E. coli that has been linked to contaminated flour.  There have been 38 people in 20 states that have been infected and 10 of these people infected have been hospitalized.  The most vulnerable are children under 5, and older adults with a weakened immune system.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA linked the outbreak to a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri in November 2015. GM issued a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour produced between November 14 and December 4, labeled under the brand names:  Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra.  Flour that is part of this recall should be thrown out.

Unlike raw foods such as eggs or meat, flour is not commonly thought of as a concern for E. coli. “E. coli is a gut bug that can spread from a cow doings its business in the field, or it could live in the soil for a  period of time; and if you think about it, flour comes from the ground, so it could be a risk,”1 reported Adam Karcz, an infection preventionist at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Flour is normally cooked before being consumed, destroying pathogens.  This is commonly referred to as a ’kill step’

SafeSourcing publishes a monthly newsletter that contains trending information on a variety of subjects. The July SafeSourcing Newsletter highlighted information on the FDA.  If you haven’t already subscribed to this free Newsletter, you may want to consider doing so.  Please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative or ask about our Risk Free trial program. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

1Laura Rutherford-Morrison, Bustle, 6/2016

Major Egg Recall Due to Salmonella

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018


Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant, SafeSourcing.

Salmonella, a type of bacteria that causes serious illnesses and deaths, particularly among children and elderly people has caused Rose Acre Farms to recall their eggs after federal officials tied illnesses to the company’s facility in North Carolina. Twenty-two people on the East Coast have been sickened by Salmonella braenderup, however, no one has died.

The Food and Drug Administration conducted an investigation of the farm, which is located in Hyde County, N.C., and produces 2.3 million eggs a day from 3 million hens. Eggs produced at the farm are distributed to retail stores and restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

The contaminated eggs were sold under brand names such as Great Value, Country Daybreak, Glenview and Food Lion. They were also sold to Waffle House restaurants. Rose Acre Farms, a family-owned company headquartered in Seymour, Indiana, and has 17 facilities in eight states. This is the largest recall since 2010, when a major salmonella outbreak tied to Iowa egg farms sickened more than 1,500 people, said Bill Marler a Seattle-based personal injury attorney who focuses on food-borne illness litigation.

“More than 500 eggs from two Iowa farms owned and controlled by Austin J. DeCoster were recalled that year. DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, each pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Authorities said the DeCosters’ company, Quality Egg, Marler said this most recent outbreak involving Salmonella braenderup, unlike the one in 2010, was detected far more quickly, preventing dozens more from being sick. That’s partly because the type of salmonella bacteria is less common, so investigators were able to isolate it quicker, he said.”1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year in the United States.

Allow SafeSourcing to help your business be more competitive with your sourcing needs. For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.


1 Kristine Phillips, Business, 4/15/2018




Who is What do they do?

Friday, October 27th, 2017


Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Our regular readers are certainly aware that we have challenged the government for years to take the necessary steps to make measureable progress on food safety. In fact here is a link to our Sourcing Safe Foods blog category where you will find 100’s of posts covering everything from BPA to Foodborne illness posts.

However, let’s get back to our original subject. I was reading of USA TODAY and came across a great advertisement on page 5A that was paid for by the Pew Charitable Trusts in support of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. And by the way; the current administration has not yet managed to get enacted. The advertisement recommends that readers go to to urge the current administration to take action to enact this legislation. SafeSourcing completely supports this message.

The Make Our Food Safe coalition includes public health and consumer advocacy organizations, as well as groups representing the families of victims of foodborne illness. The coalition pressed for enactment of historic food safety legislation that provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with improved authorities to oversee the safety of the nation’s food supply, and will advocate for full implementation and funding of the law.

If you’d like to learn more as to how SafeSourcing supports food safety in our sourcing initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Another Pet Food Recall!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017


Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, SafeSourcing Administrative Consultant.

Many years ago there was a pet food recall that affected many brands.  My own dog got extremely ill and required medical attention.  Since then we cook protein for him and supplement his diet with an organic dry food.  Many people view their pets as family members…I am one of those people!

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food, of Wheeling, Illinois, has recalled specific lots of its Hunk of Beef pet food.  The recall is due to potentially contaminated product with a lethal sedative.

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef Au Jus detected Pentobarbital in one lot.   The FDA reported one dog has died and four others became ill after eating the product,

The recall affects 12-oz. cans of Hunk of Beef:

  • 1816E03HB
  • 1816E04HB
  • 1816E06HB
  • 1816E07HB
  • 1816E13HB

The expiration date of June 2020 is indicated on the product. The second half of the barcode reads 20109, which can be found on the back of the product label.

The products affected were sold in stores and online in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Washington, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and were manufactured the week of June 6 – June 13, 2016.

Pentobarbital, in high doses, can be used for euthanasia. Side effects of non-lethal doses include drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, or nausea.

“All Evanger’s suppliers of meat products are USDA approved,” the FDA said. “This beef supplier provides us with beef chunks from cows that are slaughtered in a USDA facility. We continue to investigate how this substance entered our raw material supply.”

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.






I’d Rather Eat Bark

Monday, September 26th, 2016


Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Most people know that being green is important at home and work. Not only does it provide energy savings, but also benefits the environment, making energy sources more sustainable. Early in school, most are taught about how plants work with our atmosphere, cleaning and providing the air we breathe. This should be reason enough to be green, but there are also numerous benefits to keeping trees around that many don’t even realize. Bark is just one part of the tree that has a multitude of uses that our lives would not be the same without.

First, an annual autumn favorite is anything Pumpkin Spice. So, what makes it so good? Pumpkin alone can be bland, so other spices are usually added, hence the name Pumpkin Spice. Nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are all added in small amounts, but mostly cinnamon is added. While ginger and cloves come from other plants, both nutmeg and cinnamon come from trees. The nutmeg spice is derived from the seeds of a few trees found in Indonesia. A significant ingredient in anything pumpkin flavored, cinnamon comes from dozens of trees found mostly in Indonesia and China, specifically from the inner bark of trees. So, if you have ever tried cinnamon, you have eaten bark. Without cinnamon, pumpkin spiced treats would not be the same, and one can only imagine a world without cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch, Big Red chewing gum, or even many liquors.

Second, a household staple, believed to be a life saver for many people, and originally came from bark is aspirin. Stemming back to ancient Egypt and even mentioned in works of Hippocrates, people with pain or inflammation would find a willow tree, scrape the bark off, and brew a tea. The willow bark contained a chemical called Salicin (which is metabolized into salicylic acid), which temporarily reduced fever and aches. In our modern society, the active ingredient has been isolated and synthetically manufactured under the name aspirin. The name “Aspirin” was originally a brand name coined by the Bayer Company, but has since become a generic term for the pain reliever. [i][ii]

The non-edible uses for tree bark could be compiled into a long list, many uses we may not even realize, like adhesives, cork, and natural latex. When sourcing any of these products, we at SafeSourcing do the research to find out as much as we can about a product, because sourcing a product is more than just finding someone who sells it. It involves digging in and doing the research. We all know that being green is important for a multitude of reasons, and the uses of tree bark is included.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help think or green, help researching your products, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.



It’s nice to see companies take steps to protect the earth.

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016



Today post was written by Ryan Melowic, Vice President of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

Through my readings, I uncovered a company in Delray Beach, Florida named Saltwater Brewery who has developed six-pack rings which are 100 percent biodegradable and edible. The rings are constructed of barley and wheat ribbons which can be safely eaten by animals who come into contact with the refuge.

According to an article on Besides being biodegradable and edible, this innovative technology is still as resistant and efficient as the plastic packaging it replaces. It is, understandably, more expensive to produce, but many customers are willing to pay the difference knowing that it’s better for the environment and animal life. However, if more breweries would implement this technology, the production cost would lower and be competitive with the current plastic options, saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives.

Head of Brand at Saltwater Brewery, Peter Agardy says, “It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea,” but as President Chris Gove notes, “We hope to influence the big guys and hopefully inspire them to get on board.”

SafeSourcing has a wealth of knowledge on environmentally safe sourcing. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.


We look forward to your comments.