Food Safety

Food safety is foundational to us and our brands. We uphold an industry-leading food safety program, including processes for auditing suppliers, mitigating risk across our global supply chain and training employees. The benefits of having a rigorous program in place became even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when business closures strained supply chains and reducing contamination was of the utmost importance. Our Global Food Safety team worked hand-in-hand with our company’s operations, supply chain, communications, public relations and legal teams to create a safe and coordinated response. The team has contingency plans in place to make sure food products, as well as supplies like hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment, have remained available throughout the pandemic. When restaurants were required to close temporarily, employees followed strict cleaning procedures for safe shutdown and reopening. Best practices, including food safety protocols, were shared across the company through Core Crisis Teams.

In-person audits remain a priority. In addition to training and certifying local auditors, recent investments in technology have allowed us to conduct virtual audits and not only maintain, but increase visibility into suppliers’ performance. We have also strengthened and simplified communication of compliance requirements to better align with international frameworks like the Global Food Safety Initiative. As a result, more suppliers completed full audits in 2020, and achieved higher levels of performance on those audits, than in any previous year. We continue to audit all high-risk suppliers annually.

Food safety is not a competitive advantage — it is a public health imperative. That’s why Yum! regularly works with peers across the food industry to share best practices and build our collective knowledge. Groups with which we have been particularly active over the past year include a Quality Assurance Study Group of the National Restaurant Association and the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, which is affiliated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.