A food safety glitch could be devastating for a restaurant of any size, so it stands to reason that foodservice operators won’t be pulling any punches when it comes to scrutinizing their suppliers’ safety standards.

“Every customer that comes here wants to understand our food safety program,” said

Steve Church, chief executive officer for Church Bros. LLC, Salinas, Calif.

The company has a high bar when it comes to food safety and must regularly submit third-party audit results.

“We’ve got an outstanding food safety program, both in our facility and out in the field,” Church said.

The company invites foodservice operators to visit its facilities “and let us show you what we do so you will feel confident and secure that we are doing the right job,” he said.

Church Bros. is in compliance with the California Leafy Greens Product Handler marketing Agreement, he added.

Large foodservice customers want year-round product that is safe, said Ernst Van Eeghen, director of marketing and product development for Church Bros.

“We spend a lot of time and money on food safety, traceability and more sustainable farming practices,” he said.

With the national brands that Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms puts out, food safety is “an absolute must,” said president Bob Hale.

The company’s farms are Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices-certified and its processing plants and packinghouses also are Harmonized GAP and third-party certified, he said.

“Food safety and traceability are a huge part of our value proposition and who we are,” Hale added

He pointed out that the firm is vertically integrated: The company plants, grows, harvests and packs its own product and stores it in climate-controlled warehouses.

Customers of GreenGate Fresh LLP, Salinas, don’t automatically assume the company is following good food safety practices, said Jay Iverson, vice president of sales and marketing.

GreenGate Fresh is third-party certified and makes an effort to “stay on the leading edge” when it comes to food safety, he said.