Product Safety: How we ensure safety & quality in our foods

A recent report released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has raised concerns about the potential contaminant exposure across the baby food industry, including our products. As a company run by parents who are proud to feed our children the products that we make, we take this topic very personally and seriously. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of implementing strict quality standards in providing clean, enlightened and nutritious offerings to babies.

We wanted to take a moment to personally reassure our Happy Family parents that the safety, health and wellness of our little ones is, and has always been, an intrinsic part of our DNA. Our company was founded and built on the principle that every baby and child should be brought up in an environment free of harmful toxins. Managing chemical exposure is at the heart of our business and is embedded into everything that we do:

  • We are committed to being always organic. Our foods are certified to be made using practices that do not include potentially harmful pesticides and antibiotics. We have always been committed to organic and non-GMO certification and strive to always implement practices and standards well above what is necessary to be certified Organic.
  • We have developed a proprietary Quality and Food Safety program designed to ensure that all of our products are safe for every baby and toddler. And even further, our company has been focused on developing an advanced “baby-grade” standard to lead the industry in stricter processes and protocols for the production of food our children consume.
  • We have a culture of constant improvement and despite our extremely strict, self-imposed quality standards and rigorous, proactive testing, we know that we cannot completely control every aspect of the environment. As always, we are willing and eager to find any opportunity to improve our products and look to data-based guidance to help us do so.
  • We thoughtfully source high-quality, clean organic ingredients and packaging from trusted farmers and suppliers, which drastically reduces the inclusion of any harmful toxins and metals. We have incredibly tight controls in place with our partners, including regular audits and very strict specifications, intended to help improve internal processes for not only us, but the entire industry.
  • We specifically source packaging made without BPA.

When we were contacted by the EDF with the conclusions of this report, calling our product quality into question, we worked with them to better understand their concerns. We learned that their report is based on testing done by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and 2014. In the years since this study was conducted, all nine of the identified products have been either discontinued or completely reformulated as a part our proactive and continuous improvement process. As noted previously, we are constantly working to identify any possible improvements in our formulations and work in partnership with our farmers and suppliers to source ingredients with the lowest contaminants available.

We want to help make you feel comfortable and welcome any questions or comments by calling us at 1-855-64-HAPPY or emailing us at parents@happyfamilybrands.com.

 

Answers to some additional questions you might have:

What are some additional resources you can access to help limit exposure to harmful toxins in your child’s environment?
As a company, we believe that toxin exposure is something parents must actively control in a baby’s entire environment. We do our part from a food safety perspective and by sharing pertinent information on ways to protect developing children on our Learning Center. We also have great partners who provide incredibly useful (and free!) information:

  • The Neurological Health Foundation (which our Founder and Chair Mom, Shazi Visram, is on the board of) has published the Healthy Child Guide (password: healthychild), which educates and empowers parents to have healthy children, free of chronic health disorders.
  • The Environmental Working Group, another close partner of ours, which Shazi is also a board member of, has created several very helpful guides including The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen, a guide to pesticides in produce, and the Skin Deep Database, which evaluates almost 70,000 personal care products based on their safety.

How do trace contaminants get into food?
Trace amounts of contaminants such as heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, can often be found naturally in the environment, including water and soil. So it is possible that small amounts can be present in some fruits and vegetables. To protect against these trace amounts being present in the products we manufacture, we only source high-quality, organic produce from trusted suppliers and farmers. We also conduct extensive auditing and testing to make sure the ingredients we’ve chosen meet our expectations as parents. As always, we continually strive to improve our products and welcome data-based guidance to do so.

How does this work with organic certification? I thought this was the strictest of standards?
To use the organic certification logo on our products, it means that a lot of attention has been paid to making sure the right practices are in place at every step in the supply chain, beginning with the seeds planted at each farm. These practices encourage environmental sustainability and help to prevent potentially harmful substances, like pesticides and antibiotics, from being introduced to our foods.

However, many other contaminants still have the potential to find their way into organic foods. That’s why it was important to us to build our proprietary Quality and Food Safety program that goes beyond organic, addressing several additional potential contaminants.

What is Happy Family doing to minimize contaminants in our food?
Happy Family’s Quality and Food Safety program includes measures that help us prevent contamination of any harmful toxins. Notably, we require our suppliers to meet strict standards, validate performance through active monitoring and proactively execute improvement projects based on areas of potential risk. To take this one step further, we are in the process of developing an even stricter set of “baby-grade” standards to push the industry to an even safer place.

We’re in direct contact with the Environmental Defense Fund regarding their report, and we value their partnership in a shared commitment to bringing the safest foods possible to all children.