An Atlanta area watermelon distributor has received a high food safety score.

Atlanta watermelon repacker receives high GFSI scoreSouthern Melon Distributors Inc. of Forest Park, Ga., scored 98.09% in a recent Global Food Safety Initiative audit.

The high score comes as Southern Melon, which packs, repacking and wholesales watermelons throughout the Southeast, marks its first year in operation, according to a news release.

The company received the score on its Santa Maria, Calif.-based’s PrimusGFS audit — its second in 2012.

“Our sights have always been set on attaining the highest standard of food safety in the industry,” Danny Letsinger, president, said in the release. “Now that our packinghouse is GFSI certified we are continuing a mentorship program to aid our remaining suppliers in becoming GFSI certified as well.”

Southern Melon, which is connected to ABL Farms Inc., Longwood, Fla., packs watermelons for vendors on the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park and ships to chains including Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sam’s Club, as well as Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., according to the release.