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Promoting Food Safety

We invest in the certification and monitoring of our products, facilities and processes, as well as in training in best practices.
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Food Safety

We strive for quality and food safety, which are the real foundations of the reputation capital of our banners and the sustainability of their activities.

The Quality and Food Safety Guidelines describe various aspects of the products we sell, in line with the following policies:

  • Quality and Food Safety – this stipulates the need to guarantee a system for continuous improvement to the processes for developing and monitoring Private Brand products and Perishables;
  • Nutritional – this defines 6 pillars in the development of Private Brands: nutritional profile, ingredients, labelling, portion sizes, continuous improvement and communication;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – as a matter of principle the Private Brand products do not contain GMOs. In cases where that is not possible, consumers are informed of that fact on the label.
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    We invest, certify and monitor our processes, facilities and equipment.

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    We perform regular analyses on our products in order to comply with our Policies and international standards.

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    We build our employees' ability to have effective control over the quality and safety of our products.

Audits and Certifications

We audit our stores and Distribution Centres based on international reference standards in the area of Quality and Food Safety.

During 2016, we carried out more than 6,700 audits, including external audits, on stores and Distribution Centres, representing a decrease of 8% compared to the previous year, due to some stores having a score that does not justify corrective actions and additional audits.

In 2016, the following certifications were renewed/maintained:

  • ISO 22000:2005 certification, regarding the storage and distribution process in all of the 15 Distribution Centres, and regarding the product development process at Biedronka’s head office;
  • ISO 9001:2008 certification for the Development of Private Brands in Portugal and Post-Launch Product/Supplier Follow-Up;
  • HACCP certification in accordance with the Codex Alimentarius of Pingo Doce’s central kitchens in Gaia, Aveiro and Odivelas;
  • HACCP certification in accordance with the Codex Alimentarius of the Recheio Cash & Carry stores (including the store in Madeira);
  • HACCP certification in accordance with the Codex Alimentarius of a franchised Recheio store in the Azores;
  • HACCP certification in accordance with the Codex Alimentarius of the Caterplus Food Service platforms (except the Lisbon platform);
  • HACCP certification for Food Safety based on the Codex Alimentarius of the Azambuja, Modivas, Guardeiras and Algoz Distribution Centres.


In 2016, all the Polish Distribution Centres renewed their certification for handling organic products according to the EC 834/2007 Regulation.


analyses on products in Poland
analyses on products in Portugal
analyses on products in Colombia

Analysing the products that we sell and monitoring hygiene best practices are priorities in order to ensure high standards of quality and food safety.

In Poland, we carried out 14,600 analyses on Private Brand products and Perishables in 2016, representing an increase of around 50% compared to the previous year. This figure is justified above all by the analyses of Private Brand products, including further nutritional parameters and labelling, and the increase in contamination and adulteration controls, as a complement to the chemical and microbiological tests that are regularly performed.

In Portugal, we conducted over 19,600 analyses, an increase of 9% compared to 2015. This increase is essentially the result of the number of analyses performed on Meal Solutions products, which, among other things, is due to the need to validate products following a change in the processes, such as the process for cooling soups and the review of expiry dates due to changing that same procedure.

In Colombia, we carried out 419 laboratory analyses on food products, an increase of 41% compared to 2015, in line with the growth in the number of stores, suppliers and products sold.

In addition, we performed analyses on work surfaces, equipment and product handlers, with the objective of controlling microbiological risks:

  • In Poland, we carried out 172 microbiological analyses, a decrease of 72% compared to the previous year, due to the reduction in the number of stores with a meat cutting and packing service;
  • At Pingo Doce and Recheio and in the respective Distribution Centres, we carried out over 120 analyses on work surfaces and handlers of Perishables and on products handled in the stores, including analyses of the water and air. This value represents an increase of 6% compared to 2015;
  • In Colombia, the number of this type of analyse amounted to 625 samples collected, which means a decrease of 33% compared to 2015. This variation is due to the fact that in 2015, a supplementary diagnosis was made on all store surfaces, and so the process was not necessary in 2016.

Training hours

+ 38,511
+ 28,705
+ 25,846


We invest in building the technical ability of our employees in Food Hygiene and Safety in order to ensure the effective control of our products.

In 2016, we carried out more than 93,000 hours of training on food safety divided among 28,800 employees, an increase of 5% and 9% respectively compared to 2015.

In Poland, the training in Food Hygiene and Safety involved 15,507 employees and 28,705 hours of training.

In Portugal, 8,677 employees also received 38,511 hours of training.

In Colombia, we provided training to 4,617 trainees, totalling 25,846 hours.