As consumers continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, their concern about store safety and cleanliness will be a determining factor in their decision to visit certain locations. For that reason, the National Grocers Association (NGA) is partnering with ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, and the Global Risk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, to bring a new, comprehensive cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention program to grocery retailers.
Grocery stores have operated throughout the pandemic, and the importance of demonstrating continued commitment to sanitary and safety protocols has never been higher, said the NGA.
The new program, called the GBAC STAR, is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities.
“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,” added Ferrara.
GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities. This 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 an outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
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, said the NGA.
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.
Successful GBAC STAR facilities can demonstrate that correct work practices, procedures, and systems are in place to prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.
To learn more about the GBAC STAR program, click here.