QUALITY ASSURANCE

At CKE Restaurants, we take pride in the quality of our menu items — from the Angus beef used for all of our Thickburgers™ at Hardee’s® and our Six Dollar Burger™ line at Carl’s Jr.® to the crispy whole leaf lettuce that wrap our low-carbohydrate sandwich options and sun-ripened tomatoes that grace our sandwiches and salads.

CKE Restaurants, Inc. is committed to serving safe, quality food to every guest, at every meal, every day. We have a Quality Assurance/Product Safety Program that effectively meets the challenges of food safety in today’s world of foodborne illnesses and food sanitation concerns. Here is how CKE proactively addresses product safety.

CKE uses quality products that meet or exceed safe food and product requirements established by applicable government agencies and our Quality Assurance department.

   •  All meat products are purchased from USDA-approved facilities and must conform to USDA requirements for wholesomeness and safety. These suppliers must then pass the thorough review of our Quality Assurance department, meeting or exceeding our standards.
   •  All CKE products are sourced and designed with safety in mind, then prepared to comply with, or exceed, all regulatory standards for safety.
   •  CKE-approved children’s premiums must comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and/or the toy industry’s voluntary standards.
   •  Suppliers and products are evaluated for compliance with company standards and regulatory requirements through vendor audits and product inspections on an ongoing basis.
   •  The Quality Assurance department provides up-to-date technical support to corporate departments and restaurant operations by keeping abreast of new industry technology, product issues and regulatory requirements.

We provide our employees with information required by local and federal law about materials in the workplace that require extra caution, including information contained in the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). All chemicals used in the workplace must have applicable federal and state regulatory approvals for food facility use and are required to be used according to label instructions, precautions and procedures provided by the manufacturer.

Our Quality Assurance department ensures that our restaurant and distribution operations are in compliance with environmental laws affecting air quality, water quality and waste management.

The CKE Quality Assurance Program is a vital part of our corporate policy and restaurant operations and is fully supported by senior management. Our organization is committed to an effective product safety program that:

   •  Provides restaurant operations with technical support to help prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses.
   •  Ensures that our products meet established standards for safety and quality.
   •  Involves active participation with industry and regulatory groups in developing food codes and resolving product safety issues.

Our restaurant managers are trained in the critical components of safe food handling by attending an in-depth Food Safety Training Program and passing a nationally-recognized food safety certification exam. All new employees participate in a "Safe Food Handling" orientation and are provided on-going food safety training.

Quality Assurance manages a food safety audit program utilizing a third party vendor to conduct unannounced audits that evaluate a restaurant’s food safety practices, safe product cook temperatures, equipment condition, cleanliness, food safety monitoring processes and other key factors. Restaurant management and crews are evaluated on their food safety knowledge, product-handling practices and compliance with standards as observed during the audit.

CKE uses a combination of hand washing, gloves, food utensils and sanitary practices to promote safe food handling and preparation, especially with ready-to-eat foods. We determine which of the following methods of protection is best for each restaurant application.

   •  Wearing gloves for preparing and handling certain uncooked products to minimize the risk of transferring bacteria, which may be associated with those products. We also require all employees to wear gloves over bandages on their hands.
   •  Using tongs to safely transfer all raw meat products for cooking.
   •  Using hand washing as the appropriate safeguard for preparing most ready-to-eat foods. We strictly enforce our hand-washing policy, since hand-washing is the most effective measure in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

Our Quality Assurance department reviews federal, state and local environmental laws to establish our corporate policy for compliance. CKE professionals represent our company and industry at meetings, committees and conferences addressing environmental health and food safety compliance issues and participate in creating food code standards to protect the public.

The Quality Assurance department investigates guest concerns and initiates the appropriate follow-up and response action. To voice a concern or send us a comment, please click on CONTACT US.