Food safety at the Foodbank is top in the nation
Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania has received a superior rating from the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International. Second Harvest scored 905 out of a possible 1,000 points – the highest score the Foodbank has ever achieved.
AIB International offers the foremost food handling and food safety accreditation. AIB International was founded in 1919 as a technology and information transfer center for bakers and food processors. The audit system for food distribution is conducted every two years and is composed of five categories:
- Operational Methods and Personnel Practices
- Maintenance for Food Safety
- Cleaning Practices
- Integrated Pest Management
- Adequacy of the Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs.
The award recognizes Second Harvest Food Bank’s quality in goods handling, outstanding food safety and sanitary working conditions, and its exemplary training for employees regarding proper handling of food products and ingredients. Rigorous inspections and training are required of companies that receive the certification. The recognition verifies that Second Harvest is committed to the highest level of service to its partner agencies, donors, and the thousands of families it ultimately serves.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s Director, Jessica Dokachev, says, “This is one more example of how Second Harvest is leading in providing food product to 60,000 people through our member agencies with high-quality food handled safely and efficiently.” Ms. Dokachev credits her entire warehouse team and, in particular, her Warehouse Supervisor, Shawn Moser, and Operations Manager, Kent Beers, with leading the effort.
Second Harvest moved to its current warehouse, a $4 million, 65,000-square-foot facility, in September 2015. The facility, at 6969 Silver Crest Road in Nazareth, has more than tripled the food bank’s storage capacity compared to its former warehouse in Allentown. Refrigerated and frozen storage capacity has more than quadrupled. A new racking system allows for four-high vertical pallet storage, and the 10 receiving docks have improved the Foodbank’s ability to handle trailer loads of food donations.