The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) selected Publix Super Markets as the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Black Pearl Award, which will be presented at IAFP’s Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC in July.

This honor is given annually to one company for its efforts in advancing food safety and quality through consumer programs, employee relations, educational activities, adherence to standards and support of the goals and objectives of IAFP.

Beginning in 1930 with one store in Winter Haven, FL, today Publix operates 1,070 supermarkets. With 157,000 associates, Publix is the largest employee-owned supermarket in the U.S. They are also a manufacturing company and the largest supplier of products to its stores. Manufacturing includes four fresh foods operations, three dairy plants, two bakery plants, a deli plant, printing services and manufacturing and supply purchasing.

“At Publix, we’ve worked hard for more than 80 years to earn our customers’ trust,” states Todd Jones, president. “These great people—whom we consider part of the Publix family—trust us to provide quality products, a convenient, clean and pleasant shopping environment, premier service and so much more. Our associates know that food safety isn’t just one department’s or one person’s responsibility. It takes each associate being knowledgeable and aware of food safety and sanitation procedures to maintain safe, high-quality food for our customers.”