September marks the 10th annual National Food Safety Month. This month-long event is organized each September by the International Food Safety Council to focus attention on the importance of safe food handling and preparation-both at home and in commercial food operations. Quality Chekd Dairies, Naperville, Ill., supports educating the public about food safety with its Quality Brigade program. Marking its 60th anniversary in October, the organization reaches out to consumers through the Quality Brigade to explain the importance of a rigorous food safety program and educate them on the meaning of Quality Chekd's "Blue Q. Red Chek." trademark.

Introduced to its members in 2002, the Quality Brigade is the personification of what Quality Chekd has done since 1944: ensure top-quality dairy products through regular inspection and education. The brigade is comprised of employees from member dairies who embody the freshest, finest dairy products that are stamped with the "Blue Q. Red Chek."

Members of the brigade take part in local events to educate consumers about how they are fighting for freshness, flavor and fun for all, and they talk to kids and adults about nutrition and food safety. Consumers can be sure that when they spot the familiar trademark they are getting the best dairy products available because they come from the Quality Brigade people at Quality Chekd member dairies. Member dairies and their employees continually set and meet high standards for their products and processes and continue to improve through continual audits and training.

"The Quality Brigade is a way of underscoring the commitment Quality Chekd members have made to providing fresh, wholesome and safe products to retailers and consumers," said Peter Horvath, managing director, Quality Chekd. "We want to tell everyone that the Quality Brigade is at work to bring them dairy products they can trust."

Happy Anniversary

Quality Chekd also celebrates its 60th anniversary in October. In conjunction with its anniversary celebration, the company is giving back to the communities it serves by working with its 40 valued member dairies.

Quality Chekd is providing ChildPrint ID Kits‚ that record a child's personal & medical information, including birth date, height, weight, hair and eye color, blood type, and allergies and medications, as well as physical features like scars and birthmarks. Each kit contains an ink strip for fingerprinting, a hair sample baggie, two Safe Shoes Child ID labels for one pair of shoes, two pages of valuable safety tips for parents, and a heavy gauge clear, plastic protector in which to store the kit. The kits will be distributed through Quality Chekd member dairies at local community events, schools and retailers.

The ChildPrint ID Kit is designed to be the most comprehensive and easy-to-use self-contained kit for parents to complete and store in the privacy of their home. The kits are provided by First Impressions, a company founded with the desire to inform parents, educators, community and business leaders about how to teach children to avoid dangers, and thus how to help protect them.

The second part of Quality Chekd's celebration is the recognition of its member dairies and their employees. The "60 Faces of Quality Chekd" honors 60 people within the Quality Chekd family with a collection of photos and stories about why each chosen individual, from president to plant employee, is a driving force behind the organization.

Quality Chekd asked members to nominate a colleague whose work best exemplifies the values inherent to the organization. The nomination form included questions such as:

  • Who has inspired you to meet the highest standards in dairy quality?
  • Who has had the most positive influence on dairy coworkers?
  • Who continues to shine outside of work, by being strongly devoted to family and community?
  • Who goes the extra mile for customers to make sure they have the freshest, best-tasting dairy products possible?
All nominees and nominators received a 60-year anniversary polo shirt. The 60 winners also were awarded a $100 savings bond and will be recognized in the fall issue of Scope, the quarterly Quality Chekd newsletter.