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Wakefern to Unveil Data Quality Scorecard for Vendors

KEASBEY, N.J. — Wakefern Food Corp. is “close to” rolling out a Vendor Data Quality Scorecard that it began piloting earlier this year, said Michael Durning, manager of data integrity for Wakefern here.

The scorecard is designed to measure the performance of suppliers in regard to data accuracy for new and existing items, and to provide them with feedback on key indicators. Wakefern is a wholesale cooperative led by the owners of ShopRite stores in the Northeast.


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Durning discussed the need for product data accuracy and Wakefern’s use of the Global Data Synchronization Network during a presentation last month at the GS1 Connect conference in San Antonio, hosted by standards group GS1 US, Lawrencevile, N.J.

Some CPG manufacturers are failing to consistently follow industry standards set by GS1 US to ensure the accurate use of product data, such as the GTIN allocation rules and package measurement guidelines, with adverse consequences for retail operations and consumer trust. “Not everyone is playing by the same rules,” Durning said.  But to do business with Wakefern, “you must follow GS1 standards,” he told the suppliers at the conference.

While Durning described the percentage of manufacturers in violation of the rules as a “minority,” he added that “this minority can affect a large number of [products].” The impact can extend from the supply chain (warehousing and transportation) to the retail point-of-sale (scanning, shelf labels, replenishment, nutritional data) to ecommerce (product images, information on nutrition, allergens and ingredients).

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Food Vendors Shut Down for Health Code Violations at Western Montana Fair

Three food vendors were shut down Friday at the Western Montana Fair in Missoula, MT, after health department inspectors found that “hundreds of pounds of food” the concessionaires were planning to serve had not been properly refrigerated for several days.
Other violations involved improper storage of food, unsanitized dishes, and employees not washing their hands, apparently in one case because not enough water was available.
Although three people reportedly felt ill after eating food served by the vendors, there were no official reports of foodborne illnesses linked to the fair, said Amanda Poston, an infectious disease nurse with the Missoula City-County Health Department.
“I’m the one who gets the reports, and we have not had any confirmed cases,” she told Food Safety News.

The three vendors — Route 66, Delightful Goodies and The Candy Stand — which are all affiliated with North Star Amusements of Cody, WY, will have to prove they can provide safe food or they won’t be allowed into the fair next year, a department official said.
“In order for those vendors to come back to Missoula next year, they are going to need to contact us and let us know how they are going to be able to do it safely next year,” said Environmental Health Specialist Alisha Johnson.
Johnson noted that in the six years she had worked for the department, she had never seen a food vendor be shut down at the fair.
“Really, the responsibility rests on the operator themselves to know what the regulations are, and the put proper food safety protocols in place, and that simply wasn’t happening here,” she said.
Department inspectors had talked to the vendors earlier in the week about the observed food code violations and what needed to be done to remain open, but their advice was not being followed.

“They just couldn’t quite meet those requirements, and we realized that it was irresponsible to continue to let them operate,” Johnson said.

On Monday, a local newspaper slammed the carnival contractor and the fair organizers for the situation, editorializing that, “These folks were clearly, repeatedly, in violation of health regulations that could have sickened their customers.”

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