Sysco Corporation announced sweeping changes to its operations tonight that will improve food safety for millions of people who eat food provided by the world’s largest food distributor.
The changes come in response to an NBC Bay Area investigation in July that revealed the company was storing raw meat, dairy, and produce in outdoor, unrefrigerated sheds in 14 locations across Northern California. These sheds were used by the company as “drop sites” where food was kept for hours in temperatures as high as 81 degrees before it was picked up by sales people in their personal cars and delivered to restaurants and hotels.
At the time Sysco told NBC Bay Area the Bay Area drop sites were an “anomaly.” But in the weeks following the investigation, company insiders prompted NBC Bay Area to dig deeper.
Now Sysco is confirming it did indeed operate sheds across the U.S. and Canada.
“We have discontinued operation of all drop sites across Sysco. We deeply regret the concern created by our lapse in complying with our policies. At this time, we are fully cooperating with the California Department of Public Health’s investigation of our food-safety practices in that state,” CEO Bill DeLaney said late Friday evening.
The company would not confirm how many of these locations were in use, or for how long. Sources told NBC Bay Area that the company operated sheds in Washington, Utah, Tennessee, Washington D.C. and Toronto.
We will have more on this story in the coming days.
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