Could the Sysco suit have been prevented?

Monday 11th August 2014

One of the world’s largest food distributors suffered a large monetary loss this month for putting thousands of customer’s health at risk. Texas based food company Sysco, who distributes foodstuffs to many top restaurants, healthcare providers and educational facilities has been asked to pay a settlement of $19.4 million to the state of California, after it emerged the company was storing goods in unrefrigerated sheds.

This was discovered last year by American news corporation NBC San Francisco. Sysco, who prides itself on diversity, inclusion and sustainability, was on various occasions sending its food to storage facilities which were not entirely suitable for the storage of food, to be picked up later by food representatives.

How could this have been prevented?

Corporates that handle food are responsible for the safe storage of the products. There are a range of affordable refrigerated container units available to catering organisations which satisfy food safety according to the law. The 2011 FDA Food Modernization Act (FSMA) states that food must be looked after in the correct manner to prevent the risk of contamination, rather than assessing the aftermath of food failures. Failure to adhere to standards puts thousands of consumer’s health at risk.  

food safety cold storage

The suit forced Sysco to shut down their various drop sites and cease distribution at its seven centres, which distributed food stuffs to hospitals, schools and other vulnerable sites all the way from Sacramento to San Diego. Failure to use refrigerated containers by the food company resulted in huge loss of respect and it was eventually concluded by the California Department Public Health (CDPH), that foodstuffs had been illegally stored at sites for 23,287 days. It is important for business owners to understand the risk of illegally storing food, not only for the reputation of the business but for the health of the public as well.

 Refrigerated containers are the simplest and most obvious was the keep food items at the correct temperature and can help companies to abide by health and safety laws. Sysco is perhaps been made an example of as the company is not the only organisation thought in violation of the food safety laws. The risk of poor storage does not outweigh the benefits as company reputations are easy to be tarnished and difficult to build back. For more information about the refrigeration options available to your company, visit CRS cold storage here today. 

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