Grocery Briefs: February 2016

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Litehouse Foods, Sandpoint, ID, earned the Safe Quality Food (SQF) level-3 certification for its Simply Artisan Reserve manufacturing plant. SQF level 3 is the most rigorous Global Food Safety Initiative certification, requiring more comprehensive documentation of safety and quality management in addition to level-2 certification criteria. “By achieving the highest standard in food safety, we want to underscore to our customers that food can be artisanal and crafted with the utmost care,” said Margi Gunter, brand manager for deli for Litehouse, Inc.

The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), amid concerns over the authenticity of olive oils, is reassuring consumers of its commitment to the quality and purity of olive oil. Based on tests of over 200 samples per year, NAOOA results show that 98% of olive oil available in North America is authentic. The group also developed a Quality Seal Program to recognize and promote olive oils that meet industry standards for quality and authenticity. “Ensuring the purity and quality of olive oil is paramount to our mission, and is especially important as many consumers use olive oil on a daily basis,” said Eryn Balch, executive vice president of the NAOOA. “There are several different kinds of olive oil and all authentic olive oils, including regular olive oil, contain a multitude of health benefits.”

DRY Soda Co., Seattle, WA announced that its Cucumber, Ginger, Lavender, Rhubarb, Juniper and Blood Orange flavored DRY Sparkling beverages have earned Non-GMO Project Verification. Cans carrying the seal will appear on shelves nationwide in May 2016. “Clean ingredients were part of my original inspiration for DRY, so pursuing verification from the Non-GMO Project was a very natural step in highlighting our commitment to transparency and real ingredients,” said Sharelle Klaus, founder and CEO of DRY. “We are thrilled that DRY is one of the first carbonated beverage brands to receive the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. While our official verification from the Non-GMO Project is new, our loyal fans will be pleased to know that the DRY beverages…have been made without GMOs the whole time.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2016