Safety for our products, customers, facilities and employees is always top priority at Stampede Meat. As the month of June – better known as National Safety Month – comes to a close, we want to recognize how our company goes above and beyond USDA Food Safety standards. Safety practices are a vital part of our training to ensure each team member remains vigilant, efficient and accident-free. Below are a few of our most important and unique safety facts and tips provided by Director of Food Safety Rich Chiaramonte and Safety Manager Jorge Cervantes, as practiced at Stampede Meat.
Stampede’s Top 10 Safety Tips & Tricks
1. Stampede uses SANOVA® as one of our multi-hurdler intervention steps on our production lines in an effort to eradicate pathogenic organisms such as E. coli 0157:H7 and other bacteria which may be on our red meat raw material prior to processing. SANOVA® is a USDA-approved Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) antimicrobial food additive which can be applied to red meat to reduce microbial contamination on raw material. This multi-hurdler spray application greatly helps prevent potential cross-contamination, which can lead to serious health issues or even death. Plus, its use has no adverse effect on waste water or biological systems.
2. Stampede promises to release only the highest quality products for shipment to customers. If we discover non-conforming product, which is product that does not meet regulatory standards post-production, we immediately place those products on HOLD. By isolating the product, we avoid quality issues from reaching the customer.
3. All goods received into the facility are thoroughly inspected before being accepted. This includes not only the condition of the raw material, but also the condition of the trailer in which the product was shipped and delivered. Stampede conducts a thorough inspection of all received goods and products to ensure all products are delivered under clean, sanitary conditions. That way, all goods brought into our facility are free of any materials that could cause any unsanitary conditions within the plant.
4. We receive a Letter of Conformity and/or Letters of Continuing Guarantee from all of our customers on an annual basis. This is to show their products are hereby guaranteed, as of the date of such delivery, to not to be adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
5. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are ingrained in every Stampede employee. All team members not only follow our best practices for washing hands upon entering the processing area, but they also follow up hand washing with hand sanitizing before returning to their work stations.
6. Yellow boots are worn with pride within Stampede’s production areas. Our company introduced a Captive Boot Program more than nine years ago to reduce the risk of cross-contamination by boots or shoes worn outside by employees and visitors. Anyone entering production, packaging, storage coolers/freezers, shipping and receiving docks, etc., are required to wear specific boots or boot covers to only be worn inside the plant and immediately removed and sanitized afterwards.
7. Accident prevention is not only essential to the well-being of our establishment, but it’s also good business. Stampede Meat complies with all safety and health regulations which apply to the course and scope of operations. These initiatives minimize and prevent employee injuries, promote better working conditions for everyone, and hold Stampede Meat in higher regard with customers while increasing productivity.
8. One of the many things that sets us apart from our competitors is our Ionizer Air Purification System. Our facility has placed multiple ionizer air units in our production areas, which act as a food safety tool for an advanced system of air purification. This system contributes to our effort in eliminating harmful bacteria, mold, viruses, orders, and much more in as little as 15 minutes.
9. Stampede employees are responsible for following safe work practices, company rules, and the prevention of accidents and injuries. Communication is key to keeping these tasks implemented throughout all levels of our team. Management has established lines of communication to solicit and receive comments, information, suggestions and assistance from employees where safety and health are concerned.
10. Within our core company values is the idea of daily improvement. Everyone’s goal must be to constantly improve safety awareness and the prevention of accidents and injuries. Our safety program applies to all employees and persons affected or associated in any way with Stampede Meat operations.