food safety and quality assurance tools and processes

We are dedicated to protecting guests, public health and Target brands by assessing the more than 800 vendor facilities that produce Target-brand foods such as Archer Farms, Market Pantry and Simply Balanced products.

Target’s Food Safety and Quality Assurance (FSQA) team, located in the U.S., China and Guatemala, is dedicated to protecting guests, public health and Target brands by assessing the compliance of the more than 800 vendor facilities that produce Target-brand foods such as Archer Farms, Market Pantry and Simply Balanced products. The team assesses vendors' capabilities to produce safe, high-quality products that are compliant with regulations and Target’s food safety, nutrition and labeling standards.

Looking ahead, the FSQA team will continue to collaborate with merchants, product development teams and industry and trade associations to proactively address upcoming industry and regulatory needs, such as the forthcoming regulations that are part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They’ll also leverage advancements in food safety, quality, and health and wellness trends to maximize product offerings and value for our guests.

 

Vendor Assessment and Qualification

The FSQA team leverages a scientific, risk-based, preventive approach to assess vendors to ensure that appropriate food safety, quality programs and capabilities are in place before production.

All facilities that produce Target-brand food are accountable to regulatory guidelines and Target food safety and quality standards, including but not limited to:

  • Global Food Safety Initiative certification, a comprehensive, globally recognized food safety program and standards used to evaluate a manufacturing facility’s programs and capabilities. Target has required this certification since 2009.
  • Preventative Food Safety Plan
  • Environmental Monitoring Program for Pathogen Control
  • Allergen Management Program
  • Product traceability (open date code/lot traceability programs)

 

Ongoing Monitoring

Once we establish business partnerships with vendors, Target continually monitors product safety and quality through the following assessments: on-site risk assessment and production evaluations, quality reviews of products in the marketplace, and guest feedback.

 

Nutrition, Labeling and Regulatory Compliance

Target’s Nutrition, Labeling and Regulatory Compliance team is responsible for providing expert guidance to Target's business teams by:

  • Monitoring the regulatory environment and nutrition trends in order to assess potential business impact and provide appropriate internal guidance and research.
  • Ensuring that Target vendors provide food product label information that meets federal and state labeling regulations
  • Providing guidance for the use of nutrition and health claims, such as "contains 100 percent whole grains."
  • Reviewing food advertising claims and online product attributes for regulatory compliance.   

 

Product Investigations and Recalls

Food Recalls
In the event of a food recall, including pet food, we take prompt action to alert our stores to remove recalled items from our shelves. Any recalled products are locked across impacted stores at the cash register to ensure that they cannot be sold to guests.

We provide guests up-to-date recall information through in-store kiosks, on Target.com and on Target's Facebook page. Recall postings include direct links to agency websites such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for up-to-date and detailed information on the recalled item.