Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc. is the first nut producer in North America to meet the rigorous requirements of Food Safety System Certification 22000:2011 standard, a distinction that means the company’s manufacturing facility, operations, food safety and quality management systems meet the most complete safety certifications for food manufacturers in the world.

Located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Setton Pistachio is a pistachio growerand processor, packing more than 80 million pounds of pistachios each year.

The company invested nearly nine months of effort to implement the standard, including developing new processes, constructing new facilities, upgrading existing buildings, developing new process technologies, training employees and establishing documentation and verification procedures, all while preparing for an intensive four-day audit.

“The fact that Setton Pistachio, a family-owned and operated business, earned the certification demonstrates the company’s on-going commitment to providing its customers with the highest quality and most wholesome products available,” says Lee Cohen, Setton general manager. “Meeting the standard means that all procedures at the plant must be documented in a way that can be traced, verified and audited.”

The Food Safety System Certification standard, formally known as FSSC 22000: 2011, an integration of the ISO 22000: 2005 and Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 220: 2008 standards, is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is considered to be the latest and most complete safety certification standard for food manufacturers around the globe.

The published standard, available since February 2012, has been called a major step forward in food manufacturing that tangibly addresses consumers concerns about food safety.