The National Grocers Association (NGA) said Thursday that it has helped to bring a new accreditation program for pandemic outbreak prevention, response and recovery to the independent food retail industry.
Called GBAC STAR, the program is a “new, comprehensive cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention program to grocery retailers,” the NGA said, adding that it was working with the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) on the program.
“The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program is performance-based and designed to help facilities and their teams establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention,” the NGA said. “The program relies on GBAC’s comprehensive training, which teaches the proper protocols, correct disinfection techniques and cleaning best practices for biohazard situations like the novel coronavirus.”
According to the NGA, the GBAC STAR mark is the “gold standard of prepared facilities.” The accreditation means a facility has:
- Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
- The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
- Highly skilled cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
“Over the last few months, the entire food industry has come together to keep America fed while also giving back to communities during difficult times. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, independent supermarkets have been innovators, coming up with creative ways to continue serving customers efficiently and safely,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “As consumers navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, they are now, more than ever, concerned about store safety and cleanliness. Our partnership with GBAC brings a training certification program to NGA members, enabling them to create a sanitation and outbreak prevention program customers can count on going forward.”