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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 foundations of the reputation capital of our banners and the sustainability of our 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 – which establishes a system for continuous improvement in the processes for developing and monitoring Private Brand products and Perishables;
  • Nutritional – which defines 6 pillars in the development of Private Brands: nutritional profile, ingredients, labelling, portion sizes, continuous improvement and communication;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – which restricts Private Brand products from containing 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 in-store products and equipment in order to comply with our Policies and international standards.

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    We build our employees' ability in order 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.

More than 8,500 audits were carried out on stores and Distribution Centres in 2017, which include internal, follow-up and external audits.

In 2017, 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 in Lisbon and in the Algarve;
  • HACCP certification for Food Safety based on the Codex Alimentarius of the Azambuja, Modivas, Alfena and Algoz Distribution Centres.
  • In 2017, all the Polish Distribution Centres renewed their certification for handling organic products, according to EC Regulation 834/2007.

Analyses on products

in Poland
in Portugal
in Colombia

In addition, we perform analyses on work surfaces, equipment and product handlers, and on air and water when applicable, aiming to control microbiological risks. Using accredited external laboratories:

  • In Poland we carried out 269 microbiological analyses, an increase of 56% compared to the previous year;
  • At Pingo Doce, Recheio and the respective Distribution Centres, we carried out over 126,000 analyses, 5% more than in 2016;
  • In Colombia, the number of this type of analyses amounted to more than 8,200, meaning an increase of 158% compared to 2016, which can be explained by the expansion in the number of stores.

Training hours



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 2017, we carried out more than 112,000 hours of training on food safety divided among 31,937 employees, an increase of more than 20% and around 11% respectively, compared to 2016.

Independent Verification

The 2017 results were verified by an external and independent entity in the context of the Group’s 2017 Annual Report.