Have you ever dropped a piece of food on the floor, yelled “FIVE SECOND RULE!” picked it up, and ate it off the floor? Let’s admit, we all have. And while that’s a fine attitude to have in your own kitchen, it’s not an attitude you want to see in facilities where food and food packaging are being manufactured and handled. This week, we turned the spotlight on health and food safety regulations in America versus those in overseas facilities.
First and foremost: American facilities are better certified for food safety. The Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification is internationally recognized, and one of the strictest and most stringent standards worldwide for food safety. And while it’s an extra overseas, it’s the standard domestically. It guarantees an emphasis on food-safety on the part of the manufacturer and their suppliers, as well as promises consistent, high-quality products. Brands and buyers take on less risk in partnering with SQF certified manufacturers, as they can rest assured knowing that food safety and quality are their top priorities. SQF even outranks the ISO 1900’s of the world.
Now, what about overseas? What type of regulations for safety (both food and employee) are in place, and how well are they enforced? Well, that’s the big problem. While nations like China have greatly improved their food safety measures over the last five years (including implementing SQF certifications at a handful of locations), their food processing and production industry is so large and widespread that these new regulations aren’t being enforced. And the proof is in the numbers. There are more than five times as many work-related deaths per day in China than in the US1,2. The US is ranked #3 in the world for food-safety, behind only Singapore and Ireland, while China ranks #35 and India even lower at #723. Why haven’t we stopped purchasing from overseas when clearly, the US is safer and healthier?
In the current state of the world, food safety certifications are more important than ever. And as manufacturers continue to work day and night to produce the products we need to go about our everyday lives, plants throughout the country are implementing a huge range of safety and health measures to protect their employees. At UrthPact, all of our office staff are working from home, and our committed operators, technicians and engineers take every possible precaution while at work, from frequent hand washing and hairnets (nothing new for us under SQF regulations) to masks, gloves, and distancing. We want to recognize all of our staff, as well as manufacturing employees nationwide who put themselves at risk so the rest of us can self-quarantine.
To sum it all up: you’ll be safer purchasing an American-made product than one produced overseas. This applies to food safety, as well as employee safety. So take some time out of your day to thank a manufacturing employee. To acknowledge the people that molded your coffee pods (check two of our incredible partners, Cameron’s Coffee and San Francisco Bay Coffee on Amazon!), packaged your Oreos, or made your to-go container. We are all in this together, we’ll get through this, and THANK YOU.
1Work safety. (2020, March 20). Retrieved from https://clb.org.hk/content/work-safety
2Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Commonly Used Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/data/commonstats
3Global Food Security Index 2019. (2019). Retrieved from https://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Index