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Food Safety

Partners in Quality

Our Approach

Hershey is committed to creating more goodness inside by delivering quality products that meet the highest food safety standards in the industry. We go beyond compliance with national and international standards, and every part of our manufacturing process is subject to rigorous auditing and oversight.

We take a preventive approach to food safety and quality. Hershey’s Product Excellence Program (PEP) is our comprehensive quality management system that is designed to identify, reduce and eliminate risk through the entire product lifecycle including product design, supply chain, production and distribution to the customer. Through this system, we identify potential risks and implement controls and monitoring to ensure the safety and quality of our products. 

Our Quality and Regulatory Compliance team continually reviews and evaluates emerging regulations and industry practices to ensure that we meet the latest requirements and best practices. Our manufacturing facilities are independently evaluated to global food safety and quality standards set by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

A Shared Responsibility

Food safety is the responsibility of everyone at a food manufacturing company – Hershey ensures that we drive the right behaviors around food safety and quality by providing standardized onboarding for all manufacturing facility personnel in addition to annual refresher training.

In 2022, we took several steps to create a greater awareness of food safety across all levels and functions of our organization:

  • We added a new food safety basics module to our required onboarding training for all new salaried employees. We are also developing ongoing annual awareness modules for all salaried employees to help them understand how their day-to day activities and behaviors impact food safety.
  • All new Quality Assurance, Engineering and R&D personnel completed initial training, while existing personnel on these teams completed annual refresher training. Targeted training equips employees to understand their roles and how they impact food safety so they can advocate for food safety at all times.

Food Safety Across Our Value Chain

Hershey sources 100 percent of ingredients from suppliers approved through the Hershey Supplier Quality Management Program, which is defined and executed in compliance with applicable GFSI standards and regulatory requirements.

In 2022, we made great progress towards the goal of sourcing 100 percent of our ingredients from GFSI-certified suppliers, with 95.4 percent certified by December 31, 2022, covering 99.77 percent of our sourced ingredients by spend.

Beyond our organization, we promote food safety among consumers and across the supply chain. Hershey is a member of the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness. As part of this alliance, we collaborate with like-minded industry stakeholders, academics, regulatory experts and survivors of foodborne illness.


The Safety of Chocolate

Our highest priority is the safety and quality of our products. Hershey products comply with all applicable laws and regulations and are manufactured under strict quality and safety requirements.

Cadmium and lead naturally exist in the environment. As a result, agricultural products – including cacao – can contain trace levels of elements like cadmium and lead. Because these elements are part of our environment, their presence in various foods cannot be entirely avoided.

We do not add cadmium or lead to our products, and we work closely with our suppliers to minimize their presence in our products.

Consumers can rest assured that they may continue to enjoy Hershey products safely.


Our Promise

Hershey is committed to strengthening adherence to food safety across our enterprise and our value chain. You can find out more about how we manage and promote food quality and product safety in our 2023 ESG report.