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FACT & CHALLENGE:
No hospital in the western hemisphere has yet been
certified MSC. It requires food management system
traceability…are you game for national and
international recognition by becoming MSC Certified?
Stacey Reyes, Purchaser at Virginia Mason Medical
Center read those words in the April AHF Washington
State Chapter Newsletter and decided the answer was
Already committed to purchasing local foods, organic
produce, northwest grass-fed beef, and sustainable
seafood, she approached her team at VMMC and asked
to take it up to the next level: become Marine Stew-
ardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (CoC) Certi-
fied. Stacey was given a “thumbs up” & this is the rest
of the story...
The MSC environmental standard for sustainable
wild-caught fisheries is based on 3 core principles:
-Sustainability of target fish stocks
-Minimal impact on the marine ecosystem
-Effective, responsive & responsible management
However, companies in the supply chain that wish to
source & sell MSC certified seafood must achieve MSC
CoC certification. MSC CoC certification ensures that
when buyers or consumers see the MSC ecolabel on a
product or menu they can be sure it is traceable back to an MSC certified fishery that has met the requirements of MSC’s rigorous environ-
For a hospital like VMMC, becoming MSC CoC certified is a big commitment that cannot be made alone. It requires all sectors of the supply
chain make the commitment. Achieving MSC certification required VMMC’s primary supplier, Food Services of
America (FSA) to also make that commitment. FSA rose to the challenge becoming MSC CoC certified and mak-
ing its own larger commitment to source sustainable seafood and make it available to its entire customer base. The
task now became:
- identifying and sourcing new supplies of MSC seafood
- gaining approval and sign off of product by both FSA and VMMC
- creating separate storage areas set aside for MSC products at FSA and VMMC
- ensuring full traceability from product receipt at FSA to shipment and receipt at VMMC
- identifying MSC certified species on the FSA invoices
To obtain MSC CoC certification, the applicant must pass an independent, third party audit that focuses on having
an internal traceability system and reliable operational systems in place to ensure that MSC-certified seafood is kept
separate from noncertified seafood. Implementing procedures to meet MSC requirements may be similar in time and
effort to developing a HACCP plan, however VMMC was committed to achieving MSC CoC certification and
completed all required changes in only four months time, from April—July 2013.
With VMMC’s bold move forward, on September 8, 2013 they became the first hospital in the western hemi-
sphere to become MSC Certified! Well done VMMC!
VA MASON MEDICAL CENTER IS MSC CERTIFIED
Becomes first hospital in western hemisphere to make bold commitment
October 2013Washington State Chapter
Inside this issue:
VMMC MSC Certified 1
Presidents Message 2
Business Members 3
AHF National Update 3
Board Members 4
November Meeting 4
The dynamic team at VMMC stand in from of their “Sustainability
Board” that lets cafeteria diners know where local foods are sourced.
(L-R): Gerry Roundy, Director of Food & Nutrition; Maggie McGee,
Retail/Catering Mgr & AHF Chapter President-Elect; Stacey Reyes, Pur-
chaser & AHF Chapter Treasurer; Executive Chef Jefferson Anderson.
(continued from page 1)
But that is only the beginning of the story. Once MSC certified
seafood is received at VMMC, there must be procedure in place
to keep it segregated from non-MSC seafood items & identified
through each step of handling & preparation— from receiving,
storing & sales of the seafood. The use of MSC’s ecolabel is also
governed carefully to prevent misuse.
So what does this cost? You will need to hire an approved third-
party certifier to conduct an audit. The MSC does not receive any
payment for audits or certifications for CoC, & has no role in
overseeing the contracts between clients and certifiers. The cost
charged by a certifier depends on the complexity & size of your
operation and a certifier’s rates and expenses.
Additionally, there are license fees for use of the MSC ecolabel
on packaging or menus payable to MSC’s trading company,
Marine Stewardship Council International (MSCI). VMMC will
use the MSC ecolabel on all room service and retail menus, and
anticipates paying an annual flat fee of $250.00 based on their
annual sales of MSC seafood.
Certification is good for five years; annual 3rd
party audits by a
certifier are required.
Gerry Roundy, Director of Food & Nutrition Services states that
“…VMMC management trusts and enables F&NS to make
cutting edge decisions”. By becoming MSC CoC certified
VMMC leadership could see that this decision was in the medical
centers’ best interests as well. It’s all about leadership.
The VMMC team suggests if you are interested in pursuing a
discussion about MSC certification, these people can be
Maggie Beaton, Marine Stewardship Council:
Executive Chef Jefferson Anderson, VMMC:
Page 2—AHF Newsletter
Presidents Message Mark Eggleston
For those of you fortunate enough to make the September Urban Farm Tour, we had our day in the sun, a view of some very
cool gardens and opportunities on how to start a garden at your own facility.
Our October program was hosted at FareStart Restaurant in Seattle. FareStart offers an intensive train-
ing program that prepares homeless and disadvantaged men and women for jobs in the food services
As the year winds down and we move in to 2014, there are opportunities to serve on the board as Sec-
retary and President-Elect. Both offices hold multiple year terms, but one of the perks we’ve approved
for 2014 is a complete paid full ride to the National Education Conference scheduled for June 2014 in
Florida. Interested candidates should contact me to run on the 2014 ballot.
See you November 13th for our next program and hosted lunch. Mark
Hats off to FSA
for taking the step to have
Stacey reports the favorite
seafood item at VMMC is
the daily served & MSC
Certified Pollock used in
their Fish & Chips.
VMMC is currently pur-
chasing Eco Safe Cod,
Pollock, Halibut and
Are there any gaps in
certified salmon has
VMMC is committed to
purchasing fish from
primarily the Northern
Pacific Ocean. As of yet
they have not found a
wild caught salmon that
meets their specifica-
tions for quality or
source of supply.
June 3—6, 2014
NW Regional Sales Manager
“I live in Bellevue with my
wife Amy and stepchildren Turner (15) and Emma
(13). My passion lies in coffee and I love talking, learning,
and educating about coffee whenever I can. Weekends I
enjoy seeing new places in the RV and exploring the off
roads in my JEEP. “
Welcome to 3 new Business Partner Members !!
Off the job profiles in their own words . . .
Washington State Chapter October 2013 Page 3
NATIONAL UPDATE: Benchmarking
National members are encouraged to
participate. This helps operators stay
competitive so they can monitor their
expenses against other operators and
prevent contractors from getting an edge
Please visit the AHF National Website.
A Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, BC is seeking
USDA approval to grow and sell its Arctic-brand apples in the USA that have
been genetically modified to not brown when sliced. Development has taken
more than a decade. The Washington apple industry opposes USDA approval,
fearing negative public reaction.
“When I am not working, I
am actively pursuing my
love of outdoors, whether it is snowboarding in the
cascades, trail-running around Seattle or getting lost
in a foreign mountain range I am at home in the out-
doors! My next adventure will be climbing Cotopaxi
in the Andes this coming December. “
Linda Donohue, RD
“Some of my hobbies and
activities include cooking,
yoga, walking, swimming (in
the ocean when on vacation) and dancing Salsa. I started
dancing Salsa when I was 15 in New York. I love the thea-
tre, good wine and Tawny Port with Dark Chocolate as a
treat. Getting together with friends is always fun.”
November 13—Chapter Meeting at Sysco Seattle
Featuring Chef Becky Selengut
Exec Chefs Chris Linaman and Jefferson Anderson
Chef Becky Selengut is an advocate for seafood sustainability and sea-
sonal, regional cuisine. In 2004 she founded
the local foods database
www.seasonalcornucopia.com. She writes
regularly for Edible Seattle magazine, is a
private chef, cooking teacher and coauthor
Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook.
Good Fish is her second book.
She lives in Seattle.
October 2013 Page 4
President: Mark Eggleston
President-Elect: Maggie McGee
Past President: Eric Eisenberg
Treasurer: Stacey Reyes
Business Partner Advisory Chairs:
Debby Latham Skagen
Education Chair: Kathy Pryor
National Conference Chair: Mary Hanson
Media Chair: Karen Mauden
New Member Reduced Rates in 2014
The Board has voted to waive Chapter mem-
bership fees for Operator and Business
members who join as first-time national
members in 2014. This offer is good through
July 31, 2014.
National membership fees are
$140 for Operators
$595 for Business Partners
The savings is realized in not paying the
Chapter membership fees. Proof of joining AHF
Nationally will be required. If questions, please
ask any Board Member. (See above left for
Board Member contact information.)
Urban Farm Tour
provides sun and fun !