Ecolab Inc., a provider of water, food safety and infection prevention solutions and services, has expanded its Ecolab Science Certified program to include six leading food retail partners. Ingles Markets, Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy, Cub Foods, Coborn’s, Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres are the latest partners to commit to rigorous cleaning protocols, training and audits that will earn the official Ecolab Science Certified seal, helping give consumers confidence as they look to the future.
These regional partners join other leading nationwide food retail brands, as well as many restaurants and hotels across the country, in advancing cleaner, safer practices through the Ecolab Science Certified program. The program, which combines advanced chemistries with public health and food safety training and periodic auditing, is helping these businesses achieve a higher level of cleanliness to address the new health and safety challenges and consumer expectations driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging pathogens.
By passing the independent audit performed by Ecolab and demonstrating their commitment to the Ecolab Science Certified program, these food retailers will display the official Ecolab Science Certified seal at more than 475 participating grocery store locations:
- Ingles, a grocer with 197 stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
- Brookshire’s, a regional family-owned grocery business with more than 180 stores operating in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
- Cub, a major Midwestern grocer with 79 locations in Minnesota and Illinois.
- Coborn’s, a long-time Midwestern grocery store chain with more than 60 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.
- Bristol Farms, a gourmet grocer based in Southern California, with 14 locations from Santa Barbara to Palm Desert.
- Lazy Acres, a natural food market based in Southern California, with five locations from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
“The safety of our customers and associates has been of paramount importance to Ingles since the outbreak of the pandemic last year,” said Ron Freeman, Ingles CFO. “The Ecolab Science Certified program allows us to demonstrate our commitment to rigorous, science-based cleaning protocols, training and audits to our customers and associates. The program is an important part of our overall standards to help provide a safer and cleaner shopping experience and workplace by reducing the risk of exposure to germs, including the COVID-19 virus.”
The Ecolab Science Certified program is grounded in Ecolab’s decades of experience helping keep hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses clean. It leverages Ecolab’s unique combination of science-based solutions and insights from a global team of 1,200 scientists, with audits performed by highly trained Ecolab specialists.
The program also was informed by key insights from proprietary Ecolab consumer research. The research showed that 72 percent of frequent grocery shoppers feel “very safe” or “extremely safe” knowing hospital disinfectants are being used in stores. The research also found that consumers feel safer knowing cleaning and disinfecting practices are verified by an external, independent auditor with cleaning expertise. And even after a vaccine is distributed, Ecolab’s research shows that 95 percent of consumers surveyed want to see as much or more cleaning and sanitation practices at the places they eat, stay and shop.
“Through the Ecolab Science Certified program, we’re helping our customers recalibrate to meet higher standards throughout the industry,” said Adam Johnson, VP and general manager of Ecolab’s global food retail business. “We look forward to helping these leading food retailers build consumer confidence as they implement our comprehensive program.”
In grocery stores, restaurants and hotels, the key elements of the Ecolab Science Certified program provide rigor and support consumer confidence:
- Create clean through hospital disinfectants and food-contact sanitizers approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against the COVID-19 virus and other emerging pathogens, and elevated hygiene standards and protocols informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
- Check clean through detailed public health and food safety training and periodic auditing by highly trained Ecolab specialists focused on public health and food safety to determine whether program elements are being followed.
- See and believe clean through front-of-house cleaning and disinfecting procedures and the Ecolab Science Certified seal, a visible sign of commitment that a location is advancing cleaner, safer practices.
For more information and to see the Ecolab Science Certified program in action, visit sciencecertified.com.