(April 23, 2015) - The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, earned a superior rating – scoring 950 out of 1,000 – during its first scored audit by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International. The audit rates food safety, sanitary working conditions, employee training, and the proper handling of food products and ingredients.
AIB International standards are internationally recognized as the most stringent in the food industry. Major donors of food products use AIB International ratings and certifications to verify that a food bank uses best practices in its operation.
“Our superior rating assures people in the food industry that their food donations will be handled properly,” said JoAnn Matthews, Great Plains Food Bank operations director.
AIB International also promotes safety in the food supply chain through education, research, and technical services. The Great Plains Food Bank staff used these resources to learn best practices and prepare for the audit, noting that staff training is one of the most important things the food bank does to ensure quality.
Last year the Great Plains Food Bank and its partner network recovered, safely handled, and distributed food for a record 11.4 million meals – touching the lives of more than 87,700 children, seniors, and adults living day to day with hunger.
“We recognize our responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of the food we receive from food industry donors,” said Steve Sellent, Great Plains Food Bank program director. “This responsibility is reflected in our goal to implement all the AIB standards for the handling, storage, and distribution of shelf-stable, fresh, and frozen products to our hungry neighbors in need.”
Sellent said the high score received demonstrates the food bank’s values of leadership and integrity, as well as the dedication, skills, and overall excellence of a great operations team.