We’re persnickety when it comes to food safety and quality.
Food safety is of paramount importance to us. We believe that food safety is inextricably tied to quality, and at Sargento, quality is everyone's responsibility. At Sargento, quality and safety are a comprehensive process that is built into everything we do. It's the responsibility of all our employees to uphold that process, and our people are empowered to deliver on their responsibilities each and every day.
We continually invest in resources and systems to guarantee safety, protect brand integrity and provide for continuous improvement in products and processes while educating employees and maintaining a high-quality working environment. We do this through employee involvement, education and the pursuit of excellence in our quality vision.
The Sargento HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) System is a rigorous ongoing program that focuses on all critical points for raw materials, processing and finished products. It includes:
- Premises Control
- Receiving and Storage Control
- Equipment Performance and Maintenance
- Personnel Training
- Sanitation and Pest Control
- Allergen Control
- Food Defense
Sargento has stringent supplier standards for all the products that enter its production facilities. Each supplier must withstand a rigorous vetting process and pass a third-party audit. Our internal policy requires us to implement precise standard procedures for the identification, traceability and timely effective recovery of compromised product from the field. To ensure, preparedness, Sargento conducts a minimum of two mock recalls per year. The average recovery time is approximately one hour with 100 percent of stock identified.
All of our facilities are audited by state and federal regulatory agencies (i.e., USDA, FDA, etc...) Other third-party audits include: GFSI - Global Food Safety Initiative.
Our policies and procedures are organized to be compliant to ISO 9000 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 17025 (General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories). Data and documents are controlled. A corrective/preventive action system is in place. An extensive internal quality audit program is operating. Our quality systems are based on doing things right the first time!
Product quality starts at our suppliers. New suppliers go through a 28-step process to assure that they are able to consistently meet our specifications. A corrective/preventive action system is in place to identify deviations to specifications with a feedback and improvement loop. State certified cheese graders and supplier quality managers work directly with our suppliers to assure that our product standards are achieved each and every time.
The operators on each production line continuously monitor the quality of the packages produced. All production lines are equipped with metal detectors that are verified and the results documented on a regular basis. Statistical Process Control is used to monitor weight control to meet guidelines of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to meet USDA and FDA regulations. Quality assurance technicians conduct effectiveness checks through SOP audits and finished product audits using a statistically based sampling plan, then provide feedback to the line operator.
The Quality Systems staff is a technical resource for internal and external customers, specifically related to food safety, regulatory requirements, and continuous improvement methodologies. Our Quality Systems staff maintain certifications in Quality Management (ASQ), Quality Auditing (ASQ), Quality Engineering (ASQ), HAACP Auditing (ASQ) and Quality Process Analysis (ASQ) and maintain licenses from the State of Wisconsin in Cheese Grading and Cheese Making.