All in a Day's Work

The Sysco Quality Assurance team has a longstanding reputation for being the largest and most active QA department in the industry. We have earned this reputation by sending our QA representatives to every corner of the globe to ensure the safety, quality and consistency of each and every Sysco Brand product, regardless of origin. At Sysco, our QA professionals do more than inspect facilities and audit supplier practices and procedures, our visits start from the ground up. Literally.

Take fresh Sysco produce, for example. We do more than inspect the product itself; we inspect the field it was grown in. Our field specialists inspect and audit every point in the supply chain, from fields and plots to processing plants and cooler locations, all to ensure that the products coming from these sources meet all of the specifications necessary to earn the Sysco label. If any problems are detected at any point in this process, the lots in question will be deemed unfit for Sysco and rejected.

So what does a day in the life of a Sysco QA inspector look like? Well, it starts early. Although harvest generally begins at around 7:00 AM, our field specialists arrive as early as 5:30 in the morning. As the day’s first light rises, QA personnel are busy in the field checking everything from soil conditions to crop health to compliance with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). They are also there to inspect the overall quality, condition and adherence to specifications of products prior to harvest. On an average day, Sysco representatives may inspect as many as 40 individual field locations worldwide. Every day.

After a few hours in the field, Sysco inspectors get a chance to cool off by inspecting cooler locations, incoming produce and processing facilities. Between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM, inspectors are hard at work verifying proper temperature, color, packaging integrity, moisture, ingredients, rotation, pack dates, point-of-origin information, weight and more. At Sysco Brand processing locations, QA personnel will either pull products directly from the production line for an in-process check, or wait to inspect the finished product. Whichever method they choose, specifications such as cut size, width, length, color, composition, raw material age, temperature and defect tolerances must be checked before products can be cleared for distribution.

At the end of the day, all findings, rejections, approvals, GAP compliance, traceability and industry trends are uploaded into a central database so that performance and compliance may be tracked over the lifetime of the supplier relationship.

With the combined expertise of more than 100 quality assurance professionals, Sysco remains dedicated to a singular goal: to deliver products that meet the most stringent standards in terms of quality, safety and consistency — from the field to the processor to our warehouse and, ultimately, to you.

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