SQF Level 3 Certification for Lakeside Foods!

Lakeside Foods is proud to announce it has achieved SQF Level 3 certification for food safety and quality! Safe Quality Food (SQF) is internationally recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and currently the only standard that incorporates the management components of both food safety and quality.

The SQF audits are available at three levels leading from the establishment of the simplest system (level 1) to the most comprehensive systems (level 3). At SQF Level 3, our facilities were challenged to develop and implement an integrated food safety and quality management system. This included cooperation and communication between all of the departments within

Lakeside Foods including, but not limited to Quality Assurance, Operations, and the Field Department. Lakeside Foods has taken the lead in the canned vegetable and frozen vegetable foods industry to achieve the highest level of certification. SQF Level 3 expanded the boundaries at Lakeside Foods by establishing plans that included strict quality parameters during all steps of harvesting and processing of the food products. Buddy Yantz, Quality Assurance Manager at the Lakeside Foods Owatonna Facility, emphasized that these “Food Quality Plans improved communication with the agricultural department over raw product quality at Owatonna”.

Steven Pretz, Quality Assurance Manager at the Lakeside Foods Distribution Center, stated it best, “[The SQF audit] is like the Super Bowl for QA Managers”, who often are like a quarterback leading the drive. In this Food Safety and Quality Super Bowl the highest importance is placed on our processing and the customer.

The members of the SQF team at the Seymour facility felt that SQF Level 3 meant that “[t]he hard work done by everyone to achieve [and] maintain SQF Level 3 status will help to ensure that we meet our customer’s expectations, while always producing a safe [nutritious] product for our customers”.

The management team at the Plainview facility believes that “SQF Level 3 means that we…hold ourselves ultimately responsible for food safety and quality as it pertains to our operation and our customers… It means practicing these food safety and quality policies and programs [that are in place] daily…not just during our peak vegetable season. Talk the talk and walk the walk”.

With such excellence in food safety and quality achieved at each and every one of our plants we salute all of our facilities for their efforts. A special thanks is sent from corporate quality assurance staff to everyone whose hard work, dedication and teamwork enabled us to achieve the distinguished honor of SQF Level 3 at all of the Lakeside Foods facilities.

Written and Edited by Devin K. Dutilly and Todd Eucke