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Food Safety
& Audits

We make high-quality food safely by fostering a culture that puts food safety first and by maintaining the expertise to ensure that safety is central to everything we do.

Our products and processes integrate safety, quality and continuous improvement at every touchpoint— supply chain, ingredient sourcing, product preparation, storage and delivery to our customers and consumers. This holistic approach to guaranteeing the safety and quality of our food is what guides our work.

We view regulatory compliance as a critical deliverable within our systems, but continuous improvement of food safety is much more. We integrate food safety within our sustainability framework to find win-win opportunities to extend safety across our value chain, from the delivery of food to consumers to the safety of our team members, the environment and the animals within our supply chain. As a result, our food safety and quality assurance (FSQA) professional network comprises thousands of operations, engineering, supply chain and procurement team members who co-own food safety and quality. This integrated approach leads to a critical mass of food safety ownership, innovation and execution of our processes.

Food Safety and Quality Assurance at a Glance1
FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Food Safety and Quality Assurance Team Members FY2018 2,751 FY2019 2,697 FY2020 3,226
Certified Labs2 FY201816 FY201916 FY202016
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certified Plants FY2018106 FY2019113 FY2020114
Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Certified Plants FY201825 FY201935 FY202033
British Retail Consortium (BRC) Certified Plants FY201879 FY201978 FY202081

1This data includes our U.S. operations. Keystone Foods is included in FY2020 data but is not included in FY2018 and FY2019.

2Our certifications include A2LA 17025 and ISO 9001-2015, as well as state-certified labs at some of our beef and pork plants.

The Tyson Foods FSQA Team

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Slide 1:Plant FSQA Management and
Management Support

A team that is trained to verify compliance with FSQA programs and is staffed at each plant

Slide 2:Laboratory Services

A network of corporate and regional laboratory staff provide analytical services to processing plants and other divisions with chemical- and biological-based analyses.

Slide 3:Corporate Statistician

Corporate statisticians and statistical process control specialists who assists with the development of sampling plans and data analysis to determine statistical significance as well as providing on-site assessments to drive ongoing process improvements and development of monitoring tools.

Slide 4:Corporate FSQA Management

A team that oversees plant FSQA staff; develops FSQA programs and policies; interacts with our teams in sales, marketing, product development, operations and distribution; and works with regulators and customers.

Slide 5:Corporate Regulatory Compliance

Corporate FSQA specialists oversees compliance auditing, assists with Global Food Safety Initiative Certification and development of FSQA policy, manages our Sentinel Site Program®, a rigorous method of testing for post-processing contamination, interacts with regulatory agencies and ensures policies are designed to meet or exceed regulatory requirements.

Our high food safety standards are consistent across the world. As we make acquisitions, we hold integration meetings to merge Tyson Foods’ policies with those of acquired companies, adopting best-in-class practices as final policy. Each of our processing locations employs experts in food safety and quality assurance.

Education and Professional Development

We provide all team members with the resources, knowledge, education, communication feedback loops and management support needed to maintain high FSQA standards. Aspects of our training approach include:

  • Requiring each team member, regardless of their role, to participate in our annual FSQA awareness training.
  • Establishing the expectation that team members who handle food at our facilities will bring anything they see on the job that indicates a potential safety risk or quality issue to the attention of their supervisor.
  • Conducting regular walk-throughs by management at each facility with individual team members to proactively address current and future FSQA issues.
  • Providing focused training on foreign material prevention, identification and reporting, an area in which we continue to strengthen our focus.

Food Safety Technology

We approach the management of our FSQA systems from a holistic perspective, addressing the root cause of larger issues rather than reacting in silos to isolated incidents. To facilitate this approach, we invest in the latest FSQA technology and participate in industry partnerships to find and develop solutions. These practices, in addition to data technology, ensure decision-making around FSQA protocols and procedures is driven by data and backed up by testing and research.

As a part of our continued effort to enhance food safety and quality across our supply chain, Tyson Ventures uses FoodLogiQ Connect as our supplier management platform. This platform has allowed enhanced visibility of our supply chain and serves as the portal for our suppliers to share their FSQA documents and other important information. In addition to using FoodLogiQ as our FSQA reporting system for supplier compliance, Tyson Foods also works with FoodLogiQ on system development to support overall supplier food safety and quality risk assessment.

Foreign Material Detection

Tyson Foods takes product recalls related to foreign material very seriously. To focus on foreign object detection and exclusion, we have dedicated task forces within each of our businesses.

Actions we take include expanding our use of metal detection and x-ray technology and exploring the use of advanced technologies such as vision systems and hyperspectral imaging. These technologies are used in other applications, such as evaluating product grade, and have great potential to enhance our ability to detect foreign material. Beyond investing in new technologies, we also improve existing equipment to reduce foreign material risk. Our teams apply failure mode and effects analysis to understand where failures occur during the manufacturing process— then modify the process to correct the issue. This work requires collaboration across our business and supply chain, including consultation with equipment vendors on possible modifications; reviews with engineering, maintenance and food safety teams; and team member training to increase awareness of the importance of foreign material reduction. We have dedicated resources in each of our businesses to empower all team members to speak up about potential risks related to foreign material.

Developing & Sharing FSQA Best Practices

Tyson Foods participates in multiple trade associations that promote collaboration with industry food safety partners and perform cross-industry research. Multiple FSQA team members hold committee leadership roles in these organizations. Notably, Tyson Foods team members serve in leadership positions on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Board, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Board, the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) Technical Advisory Council, and we participate with and support the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research. Our food safety and regulatory team members have also been recognized as industry leaders in developing best practices for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Audits & Certifications

Food safety audits are a system of checks and balances that help our company produce safe, high-quality food and help grow our customers’ and consumers’ confidence. Audits are an important part of how we honor our commitment to keeping our food safe and they give us rigorous feedback to help fine-tune our food safety practices. We have frequent audits conducted by our corporate food safety teams, plant food safety teams and third-party auditors who provide audit information to federal regulators, customers and different trusted certification bodies such as NSF International and Food Safety Net. For a comprehensive list of recent audits and certifications, visit the Certifications and Programs section of our website.