Food Safety and Quality Assurance Capabilities of OSI Group
OSI Group is a premier global food provider that designs and manages its supply chains, providing clients with protection for their brands, products and reputation. The company embeds its own team of experts in food safety and quality assurance within its food processing network. This approach helps ensure regulatory compliance through rigorous tracking systems that safely transport food products. OSI also adheres to best practices in quality control and supply management.
OSI Group has gained the trust of many of the world’s largest food brands due to its commitment to the highest standards in food safety and quality assurance. Customers trust OSI with their reputation because this company ensures food safety through processes such as Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. These initiatives help build customer trust by ensuring all of OSI’s products have unsurpassed quality and safety.
Otto Kolschowsky founded the company in 1909 in a suburb of Chicago as a butcher shop and meat market. When his sons joined the business in 1928, it became known as Otto & Sons, which established a good reputation for offering quality meats in the local area. Ray Kroc’s new McDonald’s restaurant franchise selected the company as its first supplier of ground beef in 1955, and Otto & Sons opened its first dedicated plant for McDonald’s in 1973 in West Chicago, Illinois. The company changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975.
OSI continued to expand its operations in the decades since then, following the growth of McDonald’s throughout Europe. Expansion to Germany began in 1978 and locations in Spain and Austria followed in the 1980s. Growth continued with operations added in Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom (UK) in the 1990s. OSI opened a Europe Regional Office in Gersthofen, Germany in 2016.
OSI began to broaden its customer portfolio beyond McDonald’s after expanding in other areas of the world such as China, India and Australia and also added more US locations. In 2016, OSI acquired a Chicago processing facility from Tyson, in addition to acquiring a controlling interest in Dutch food manufacturer Baho Food. This company manufactures food items such as deli meats, convenience foods and snacks, serving customers across 18 European countries, with production facilities in the Netherlands and Germany. OSI also broadened its European presence in 2016 by acquiring Flagship Europe, a food supplier based in the UK. OSI renamed Flagship Europe to Creative Foods Europe in 2018.
Additional mergers and acquisitions by OSI include its merger with Turi Foods Pty, Ltd., which created Turosi Pty Ltd. in Australia, in 2018, and the acquisition of Rose Packing Company in 2019. This Chicago-based company produces pork and other meat products for leading foodservice and retail customers. Most recently, OSI has partnered with Impossible Foods to manufacture plant-based meat substitutes.
OSI’s procedures for checking food quality include audits by OSI, third parties and customers. These audits are conducted annually and include many standard requirements from the government, consumer protection agencies and OSI itself. The company also routinely generates reports on product consistency and process control, including microbiological and environmental surveillance.
OSI’s standards often exceed regulatory requirements, and it continuously monitors products for compliance with those standards. The company routinely conducts audits on Food Safety, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), HACCP, Animal Welfare and Global Standardization. OSI also monitors trends in HACCP deviations and raw material standards.
Consistency and taste are both critically important for evaluating food quality. OSI ensures its products meet the expectations of its customers by evaluating every product on every shift. It also holds weekly sessions with plant managers to evaluate food quality. In addition, OSI conducts a complete centralized audit every quarter.
OSI is dedicated to remaining up to date on the latest developments in food technology, including food safety research, laboratory methods and processing techniques. It also develops new product preparation instructions, product specifications and quality parameters. In addition, OSI places safety first when installing new equipment and developing new processes. OSI supports the Food Research Institute (FRI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is a leader in research on food safety. FRI operates its own laboratories for conducting research on foodborne pathogens and toxins.
OSI employees receive documented GMP training when they’re hired and at least once per year thereafter. This training helps ensure that employees understand the requirement for them to remain focused on food safety and quality. Employees are personally responsible for ensuring that OSI meets its standards.
OSI’s customers know that its core competency is adding value to supply chains. It accomplishes this goal by developing end-to-end solutions that meet the unique marketing challenges for each customer. Companies that partner with OSI can rely on its dedication to getting its customers’ menu and meal innovations to market quickly. OSI operates test kitchens in all of its manufacturing plants, which include R&D specialists on the staff. However, OSI’s innovation doesn’t stop at the kitchen, as it also maintains independent facilities dedicated to culinary research and development (R&D) in China, Germany and the U.S.