What You Need to Know About Locally Sourced Food

Building good relationships with suppliers can help assure you obtain quality food that' meets safety and reliability standards.

Locally sourced meats and seafood and locally grown produce are number 1 and 3 in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot for 2016 Culinary Forecast of top-five food trends. Many food service establishments are eager to put more local food on their menus, and area farmers are interested in supplying it. 

Buying local is great when food safety is kept in mind. Purchasing food from unsafe sources is one of the five most common risk factors that cause foodborne illness. Unsafe food cannot be made safe, therefore it is very important to accept only safe food. Purchasing food from approved, reputable suppliers and following good receiving procedures will help to ensure safety and quality. 

Chapters 3-1 and 3-2 of the Food Code state that an approved food supplier is one that is licensed, has been inspected, and meets all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Ensure that the suppliers you purchase from have good food safety practices. The supply chain can include growers, shippers, packers, manufacturers, distributors, or local markets.

It is helpful to develop a relationship with the supplier to get to know their food safety practices. Consider reviewing their most recent inspection reports. These reports can be from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or a third-party inspector and should be based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

All Gordon Food Service suppliers are required to have annual third-party quality, food safety, and sanitation audits. By choosing Gordon Food Service, you can be confident knowing that a team of dedicated, highly-trained professionals ensure you receive safe, consistent, and quality products every time.