ROSEMONT, Ill. (October 1, 2010)—More than 200 food industry executives, chefs, restaurant owners and consumer advocates, joined U.S. Foodservice at the first U.S. Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) Focus Day to discuss how to improve food safety around the world.
GFSI is a collaboration between some of the world's leading food safety experts within retailer, manufacturer, food service companies, and food supply chain service providers. The organization benchmarks existing food standards against food safety criteria, and also looks to develop mechanisms to exchange information in the supply chain, raise consumer awareness and review existing good retail practices.
Attendees at the GFSI Focus Day received an overview of GFSI initiatives, certification and accreditation process, and information on how food companies, retailers and others implement food safety principles.
Stuart Schuette, chief operating officer, U.S. Foodservice, delivered opening remarks at the conference and emphasized that U.S. Foodservice’s top-down commitment to food safety is critical to its business model.
”Food safety can’t be viewed as an expense or an inconvenient cost of doing business,” Schuette said. “Without food safety, we have no business.”
“Our food comes from all corners of the world and it is more important than ever to standardize food safety practices to ensure the health and protection of consumers,” he added. “U.S. Foodservice believes the GFSI certifications provide the framework for enhanced consumer protection, continuous improvement and the opportunity to share insights and best practices with other world class organizations.”
In conjunction with the conference, U.S. Foodservice hosted GFSI Technical Working Group meetings at its headquarters in Rosemont, Ill. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, where GFSI members discussed specific food safety concerns, organizational governance issues and other administrative and regulatory matters.
About Stuart Schuette
Stuart Schuette is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of U.S. Foodservice, Inc. In this role, he oversees all operations of the business, including the investments and administrative functions of more than 60 divisions. Stuart also plans and directs all operational strategies, policies and initiatives to achieve excellent customer service while positioning the company for future growth. During his more than 20-year career at U.S. Foodservice, Stuart has held a variety of executive positions including Region President; Zone President; and Division President, before being named COO in 2009. Prior to joining U.S. Foodservice, Stuart held executive positions at a global food and beverage distributor and also worked in the financial services and accounting industries. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and business administration from Illinois State University.