Food Safety and Quality Expectations for Wegmans Brand Food Suppliers (Finished Products or Raw Materials/Ingredients).
Comply with all local, state, regional, provincial, and federal requirements regarding the manufacture, storage, transportation, and distribution of food and food products. Comply with the FDA and CFSAN food security preventative measures guidance for food producers, processors, and transporters.
Comply with FSMA regulations: Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food – Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food, Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Foods, Preventive Controls Rule for Holding of Human and Animal Food, Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration (Food Defense Rule), and Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals.
Develop a Food Defense plan to define the criteria to prevent food adulteration caused by deliberate acts. Conduct a vulnerability assessment for food fraud and develop prevention plans, where applicable to identify and mitigate risks associated with raw materials and finished goods in the supply chain.
Conduct business in compliance with all laws and regulations prevailing in the country of operation. Wegmans expects its suppliers to comply, at a minimum, with all applicable labor, employment, health, safety and environmental laws and regulations of the country where the products are produced. In the absence of applicable laws or regulations, or in addition to them, suppliers are expected to meet the requirements set forth in Wegmans Supplier Codes of Practice, Vendor Guide and Private Label Agreements, if applicable. Wegmans does not tolerate child labor or modern-day slavery – such as forced or compulsory labor or the trafficking of persons. Suppliers are required to commit to a work environment where employment is freely chosen and not performed under threat, deception, coercion, force or menace of penalty. Wegmans will audit or investigate any potential concerns regarding child labor, slavery, or human trafficking, whether by its direct supplier, transportation companies, or elsewhere in the supply chain. Wegmans expects our suppliers to treat their workers with care and respect, compensating them fairly, in accordance with custom and trade regulations and protect the environment in which they carry out their business.
Develop product specifications in conjunction with Wegmans Commercialization Team and develop a finished product sample retain program where appropriate. Mutually agreed upon specifications must be in place before products can be manufactured for Wegmans. Carefully developed specifications help to ensure product quality and consistency for our customers. First shipments will be sampled by Wegmans Commercialization Team / Technical Services.
Notify Wegmans Commercialization Team or Wegmans merchandising before any changes are made to ingredients, packaging materials, processes, equipment, or manufacturing locations. Even subtle changes can have far reaching effects. Change is inevitable, but continued communication can minimize the likelihood of problems.
Provide adequate resources to develop, manage, and implement food safety and quality systems. Suppliers who manufacture and handle high risk products and materials need to have additional systems in place. A high-risk food is defined as one which will support pathogen growth and / or toxin formation. High risk areas are defined as those places that contain unpackaged high-risk foods which will not receive any further processing such that hazards will not be eliminated.
Take the appropriate action to prevent and correct any food safety or quality issues. This includes conducting thorough and timely investigations of consumer complaints or concerns presented by Wegmans or Wegmans’ customers.
Notify Wegmans in a timely manner of any GFSI certification suspensions and / or recalls involving any facility producing products for Wegmans.
Maintain food safety and quality records to demonstrate conformance with specified requirements.
Conduct documented food safety, quality, and housekeeping audits on a regular basis.
Maintain an allergen control program that complies with all federal, state and local legislation. All allergenic ingredients derived from any of the major food allergens, as specified by the FDA, must be identified and effectively managed to prevent inadvertent inclusions of allergens in products. For additional information reference: Managing Allergens in Food Processing Establishments, published by FPA.
Have a system in place to detect, prevent and control undesirable microorganisms. This shall include systems to prevent recontamination of product.
For those suppliers handling livestock, conduct periodic welfare audits for livestock production and processing. Audits should include objective, measurable criteria and follow the recommendations of the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute. Willful acts of abuse will not be tolerated.
Have an up-to-date crisis management plan. This plan shall include timely communication to Wegmans regarding the situation and tight control of any items produced for Wegmans. Examples of issues the plan must cover include natural disasters, product tampering, major ammonia or freon refrigerant leaks on the interior of the building, product recalls and other business interruptions that could adversely affect product quality and safety.
Design and maintain food production, storage, and distribution facilities in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices.
Ensure that plant buildings and structures are suitable in size, construction, and design to facilitate sanitary operations.
Construct walls, floors, ceilings, drains, and all fixtures from approved and cleanable nonporous materials designed to prevent the contamination of food, food-contact areas, or food packaging materials.
Provide adequate lighting in hand-wash areas, locker rooms, restrooms, processing areas, and inspection areas.
Provide adequate ventilation to eliminate or control vapors and odors. Ventilation equipment and fans should be positioned so that they do not contaminate food, food-contact areas, and packaging materials.
Maintain grounds, lawns, and landscaping. Weeds, especially around building perimeters, should be eliminated to minimize potential pest harborages.
Design and maintain roads, driveways and parking areas to prevent standing water and excessive dust.
Ensure that all doors and dock plates are properly sealed and closed when not in use.
Verify the potability of water through laboratory testing. Ice and ice making equipment must also be tested a minimum of once per year.
Provide adequate plumbing. Sewage and liquid waste must be properly conveyed away from the plant so that it does not become a source of contamination. Sewage piping must not be cross connected with or allow back flow into water piping systems for food or food manufacturing. Backflow prevention devices shall be verified by trained personnel annually.
Locate floor drains and slope floors to prevent the accumulation of standing water.
Install footbaths or sanitizing sprays at the entranceways to high-risk areas. Chemical concentrations must be routinely monitored to ensure that the disinfecting agent is at an effective level.
Provide adequate toilet facilities that are readily accessible, in good repair, and maintained in a sanitary condition. Facilities must also be able to accommodate the numbers of personnel who use them. Proper signage must be in place to remind employees to wash hands after using the toilet facilities. These facilities must not open directly into production areas.
Provide adequate hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities. These areas must be supplied with soap, hot water, and sanitary towel service or suitable drying devices. The fixtures must be designed to prevent the recontamination of clean hands. Waste containers are required in these areas and must be designed and maintained to prevent potential contamination of food or packaging materials.
Handle and dispose of waste in a timely fashion that minimizes the chance of waste becoming an attractant to pests. Clearly distinguish waste from edible materials (color-coding, labeling, etc.)
Maintain the operation in good repair and in a sanitary condition to assure that food products are not damaged, contaminated, or adulterated.
Store, label, and use all cleaning compounds, sanitizing agents, and chemicals in a safe manner. Verify cleaning chemical concentrations to ensure that the strength is proper for intended usage. Clean-in-Place equipment must be periodically checked to assure that it is operating as intended. Only approved chemicals can be used.
Implement and maintain an effective, documented pest control program for the building and grounds including monitoring, inspection, and pesticide application as needed. The pesticide applicator must be licensed.
Develop a Master Sanitation Schedule that is in addition to routine daily cleaning of processing areas and equipment. The master sanitation schedule should include walls, floors, drains, ceilings, equipment (food and non-food contact surfaces), and utensils. Cleaning should be documented, verified, and include specific cleaning instructions.
Use only equipment and utensils that are easily cleanable, properly maintained, constructed from nonporous materials, and suitable for intended use.
Install equipment in a manner that allows for proper cleaning of the equipment and adjacent areas.
Ensure that food contact surfaces are constructed from non-toxic and corrosion resistant materials. Food contact areas must also be protected from lubricants, fumes, and foreign objects that may result from the maintenance and operation of equipment.
Develop a documented calibration and verification program to ensure the accuracy of instruments used to measure, regulate, and document key product and process parameters (temperature, pH, acidity, water activity, fill weights, and others).
Develop a documented preventative maintenance program for scheduled maintenance of all equipment and areas of the facility. Temporary repairs should be avoided whenever possible and when necessary, should be managed.
Conduct all activities in accordance with food sanitation and food safety principles. All reasonable precautions shall be taken to ensure that food does not become contaminated from chemical, physical, or biological sources.
Identify potential hazards, and measure and monitor critical control points.
Develop a supplier quality assurance program including written product specifications, letters of continuing guarantee and certificates of analysis where appropriate for food ingredients and materials. Require testing for hazardous materials as appropriate (antibiotics in shrimp, pesticides in honey, etc.).
Establish and maintain a documented raw material, packaging, and trailer inspection program upon receipt to ensure that they meet specified requirements. Temperatures must be included in the program as appropriate for the inbound material or ingredient.
Store or stage refrigerated or frozen materials only in refrigerated or frozen areas. Where applicable, receiving areas must have proper temperature and humidity controls. Frozen raw materials must be maintained in a frozen state (at or below 0°F.), refrigerated materials (at or below 41°F.). Temperatures must be routinely verified and documented. Note – individual products may require special storage and handling temperatures. Any variance from the requirements should be documented within the product or material specification.
Establish and maintain a lot tracking program to identify individual lots or batches of product. In the event of a recall or product withdrawal, products and materials must be able to be traced from origin through the distribution process. A documented recall policy that clearly identifies the process and persons responsible for managing the recall must be in place. The effectiveness of the system should be tested at least annually by conducting mock recalls.
Manage re-work and work in progress to protect against contamination or adulteration. Re-work is only permitted where specified, at predetermined levels, and must be included in the documented traceability program. Special attention must be given to allergen concerns.
Design the operation including equipment and workflow to prevent cross contamination during material handling and processing. Provide for adequate separation between raw and cooked product, materials, and personnel.
Protect ingredients, materials, and product from foreign object contamination. Screens, magnets, filters, metal detection, x-ray equipment and other methods shall be used where applicable.
Do not permit glass in food storage, handling, processing, or packaging areas. All light fixtures, and glass of any kind, in material storage, staging, preparation, and processing areas must be a safety-type glass, or adequately protected with shatterproof coverings. Where glass is unavoidable (finished product packed in glass), a glass policy should be implemented to manage and document accidental breakage.
Implement a documented pre-operational inspection procedure to ensure that all preparation and processing areas are clean before beginning or resuming production activities.
Document and implement an environmental monitoring program, as necessary, and where Listeria is a hazard likely to occur, include a Listeria swabbing program. All products tested for pathogens shall be held pending acceptable results prior to shipment to Wegmans.
Ensure packaging materials are safe, made from approved food grade materials and designed to adequately protect the food from contamination.
Mark all products with a legible open code date that clearly identifies the product, the manufacturing location, and the expiration date. Additional coding information will be supplied as part of Wegmans specification process. Ingredients or packaging materials must be identified with legible coding similar to above.
6.15 Document and implement adequate policies and procedures to control non-conforming product and materials. Non-conforming product and materials must be identified, quarantined, and properly dispositioned by personnel with the authority and training to do so.
Store, distribute, and transport finished food products in a manner that will protect them against physical, chemical, and microbiological contamination as well as deterioration of the food and container.
Release finished products only after all specified requirements have been met. All ingredients, materials, or finished products should be dated to insure a first in first out (FIFO) rotation.
Maintain an 18-inch perimeter in material and finished product storage areas to allow for proper inspection and cleaning.
Ship product in trucks, trailers, containers, or other appropriate transport vehicles that have been inspected and verified to be clean and free of any potentially harmful contaminants, residue, or odors. Loads shall not be shipped with non-food products that could be characterized as potential physical, chemical, microbiological, or radiological hazards.
Ensure that product is protected throughout the distribution process until received by Wegmans. This includes storage, handling, transportation, and distribution activities that may not be under direct control of the supplier. Refrigerated and/or frozen deliveries must meet Wegmans inbound temperature requirements.
All personnel working in direct contact with food, food-contact surfaces, and food packaging materials must conform to hygienic practices while on duty. This can be accomplished by, but is not limited to the following:
As noted above, Wegmans recognizes the approved programs that have been endorsed by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). Information on these standards can be found at this website: http://www.mygfsi.com. For consideration, reports and certificates need to be current (no more than one year old), submitted by an accredited Certification Body in English and in whole, along with any resulting corrective actions. Wegmans reserves the right to conduct supplier audits of these third-party certified facilities if deemed necessary. Wegmans reserves the right to change our position on acceptance of GFSI endorsed food safety standards at any time and to consider other non-GFSI endorsed certifications on a case-by-case basis.
Last updated on June 9, 2023.