COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Dozens of people donate food to pantries across Mid-Missouri, while some also donate their time.
The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri leaders say the organization makes sure its employees and volunteers going in and out of the buildings are keeping the food safe while helping.
Food Bank food sourcing safety manager John Itschner said employees have routines and guidelines they have to follow, which include helping volunteers. "They have routines where they know that at certain times of day they're cleaning, and they're reviewing with those volunteers, proper food, safe handling procedures," he said.
Employees go through yearly training and have to take a test to make sure the material is retained, Itschner said.
No health code violations show up for The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri's warehouse on Vandiver Drive in online records that go back to 2015.
The organization's pantry location on Big Bear Boulevard hasn't had a critical violation since 2018, when it was cited for having dented cans.
However, in 2017, inspectors gave the pantry a critical violation for cantaloupe sitting out and having a dented ketchup can. In 2016, the pantry was given two critical violations for an unlabeled spray bottle and moldy and rotten produce in bins for sale.
Inspections completed in 2015 resulted in no critical violations.
Itschner said not only do Columbia/Boone County Environmental Health Inspectors visit and inspect the facilities, the organization is also audited by two organizations, Feeding America and the American Institute of Baking.
"We have a third-party audit that we do, so they come in and we have to follow those guidelines," he said.
Itschner said the audit covers good manufacturing practices, safe temperatures, cleaning routines and pest control, to name a few.