Hershey strives for Excellence in Food Safety

Nov 29, 2022 10:50 AM ET
Person in safety gear giving thumbs up

Originally published in Hershey's 2021 ESG Report

Hershey maintains some of the highest food safety production standards in the industry.

We go beyond compliance with national and international standards, and every part of our manufacturing process is subject to rigorous auditing and oversight.

We maintain a Product Excellence Program (PEP), which is our Quality Management System for Food Safety, Regulatory Compliance and Product Quality. PEP is focused on identifying, reducing and eliminating risk throughout product design, supply chain, production and distribution.

Our Quality and Regulatory Compliance team continually reviews and evaluates emerging regulations and industry practices to ensure PEP is meeting the latest requirements and best practices. PEP’s elements meet or exceed current Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards. In addition, all Hershey-owned manufacturing facilities are GFSI certified, which is an independent verification of the strength of our food safety and quality systems.1 But our success is more than our programs — people are at the core.

All Hershey products are designed and produced under a hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HARPC) approach, which is part of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.

To drive the right behaviors around food safety and quality, we have standardized our manufacturing facility personnel onboarding and annual refresher training. This training is required for 100% of our manufacturing facility employees and is incorporated into the integration process for any acquired manufacturing facilities. Additionally, specific food safety and quality training programs were created and implemented for Hershey quality assurance, engineering, compliance and marketing professionals.

Food Safety in Our Value Chain — and Beyond

Hershey sources 100% of ingredients from suppliers approved through the Hershey Supplier Quality Management Program, which is defined and executed in compliance with applicable GFSI and regulatory requirements. Hershey has also been working with suppliers to help them achieve certification under a recognized GFSI standard and has made great progress toward the goal of sourcing 100% of our ingredients from GFSI-certified suppliers. As of the end of 2021, 93.8% of our suppliers globally have achieved certification, covering 99.8% of our sourced ingredients by spend.

In 2021, we became a member of the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness, a program under the umbrella of the Stop Foodborne Illness (STOP) organization. This initiative brings together like-minded industry stakeholders, academics, regulatory experts, and survivors of foodborne illness to improve food safety culture across the supply chain with resources such as free food safety culture webinars and an online culture toolkit.

For a summary of our goals and KPIs on this topic, see page 19.