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Food quality and safety

Scientists in lab

 

Product quality and safety are our utmost priorities at Nestlé.

Maintaining high standards is embedded in our values and central to each employee’s approach to their everyday work. Above all, we treasure the trust consumers around the world have in us. We apply stringent rules to every stage of the production process for every product that we create, even governing how certain raw materials are produced. We also undertake numerous tests to give us the utmost confidence that our own facilities and those of our suppliers can uphold the standards people expect of us.

Cultivating a culture of trust

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How we maintain our high standards

Our approach to food quality and safety often begins in the field, by defining the specifications of raw materials we use, and carrying out regular audits – even checking soil and water quality. Our manufacturing facilities are designed to prevent contamination, and every batch of product is tested to verify safety – we conduct more than 100 million tests each year.

In addition, we employ more than 800 experts in microbiological and chemical safety, who undertake more than 4 million tests in 20 laboratories around the world. If a safety or quality issue is identified, we take immediate steps to resolve it and prevent repeat occurrences. Our work is reviewed by external auditors to ensure we conform to our own standards as well as international standards, laws and regulations.

Quality by design

Every new product conceived at Nestlé is assessed from a quality point of view from the very start of its development. This is to ensure that all necessary food safety rules and any other regulations can be fully applied during production. In our facilities we apply globally recognized Good Manufacturing Practices and, within food production areas, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. In turn, our systems for hazard analysis are verified by independent inspectors. Everything we produce is subject to the Nestlé Quality Policy (pdf 2.1Mb).

Infants are our biggest priority

We never compromise on the quality and safety of products for infants. All ingredients can be traced to specific farms, where our experts monitor soil and water, and test ingredients for pesticide residues and other contaminants. In our factories, up to 500 checks are undertaken during production. We use filters, magnets, x-rays and other checks to remove anything that does not belong. Our baby foods and drinks are subject to more than 80 quality checks, while baby cereal receives more than 220 checks.

Grains falling through hands

From farm to fork

We have a long history of working with farmers in rural communities to help them improve the quality of their produce and train them in environmentally sustainable farming. This is mutually beneficial: it not only ensures our continued access to high quality raw materials, but helps farmers protect or even increase their income by improving yields, diversifying the crops they grow and encouraging biodiversity that helps crops thrive. Often, the standard of living of entire rural communities is raised as a result.

Clear communication to customers

The packaging and labelling of all Nestlé products play a key role in assuring the quality, shelf-life and safe use of a product. We pride ourselves on clear instructions and simple-to-understand use-by dates, on easy-to-use packaging that is compliant with regulations and up-to-date with the latest technologies – for example by removing oxygen before packages are sealed. Finally, we invite customers to tell us about any issues or concerns, and we provide contact details to help initiate that dialogue.

Hands holding open green pea pod
Creating Shared Value and Sustainability Report