As a long term strategic partner to Heinz we were asked to source and supply a rather unusual ingredient, Wild Boletus Edulis. The product was to be an ingredient in a Wild Mushroom Soup.
As a food Safety ingredient specialist we were aware immediately of the risks associated with sourcing a ‘Wild’ product and got to work on sourcing from the safest and most reputable sources. We opted to run some trials on product from two possible suppliers. As a wild product which is handpicked in Woodland across Eastern Europe we anticipated that the contamination risks were high and we were right. Along with the risks from contamination was also the consideration of traceability. Hartleys conducted full audits of both suppliers to guarantee that we were receiving the safest possible product. We required proof from the suppliers that their Mushroom harvesting staff were trained in wild mushroom picking and had a recognised qualification.
From here we looked at their manufacturing facility and their product process flow. As a result of the sample sort results and the overall service and quality of the supplier we decided to go with the supplier whom was more expensive but offered a better product in terms of quality, consistency and food safety.
After this decision we went onto to carry out further trials with the supplier. Unfortunately the dice size of the product was proving difficult to achieve consistently. Through a number of trials and alterations we worked with the supplier to create a bespoke cutting blade for their existing dicing machine. Combining sorting, data collation and constructive feedback we are working closely with the supplier to continually improve the quality of the product and minimise the food safety risk at source.