Food Safety Culture

Trust in Every Bite


Food safety starts with our leadership team and cascades to our franchise partners and restaurant employees. Our approach is a holistic one, ensuring that food safety is considered at every step along the supply chain.

Our food safety standards cover areas where key risk factors exist, such as employee health and hygiene, product handling, product temperature management, cross-contamination and more. While these standards do not differ among brands, food safety risks do differ from brand to brand and across global markets.

Farm to Fork


Yum! does not produce or manufacture the ingredients in our food. Therefore, regulations that affect agricultural commodities and food products apply more directly to our local franchise partners, distributors or suppliers than they do to Yum!. We invest significant time and resources to validate that our distributors and suppliers meet and comply with applicable regulations and stringent food safety requirements set forth by Yum! and the industry.

For example, the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) impacts our business in several ways that have resulted in suppliers making significant food safety changes, as well as countries revising their food codes. We work closely with distributors, importers and suppliers in these locations to make sure  they will be compliant by FSMA enforcement dates.

We believe that proactive food safety and quality assurance requires maintaining a constant cycle of reviewing and modifying standards, introducing and deploying new systems, improving upon existing systems, coaching and compliance monitoring, and staying current on emerging food safety risks. As part of this commitment to continuous improvement, we conduct regular risk analyses and benchmark against other organizations within the restaurant industry to advance our food safety standards in a controlled, data-driven, proactive and scientific way. We closely track current and emerging food safety issues that affect our business. If changes occur in food safety regulation, science or technology, we immediately assess issues and adjust our strategy accordingly.


In the U.S., we engage with stakeholders, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and state health departments, to verify our food safety management approach is aligned with their expectations and to build their knowledge of Yum!’s food safety programs. In addition, Yum! influences state health departments to adopt the model U.S. FDA Food Code. This enables consistent execution of science-based food safety practices to protect consumer health and mitigate risks. Outside the U.S., Yum! and our franchisees also engage with regulators and policymakers in their respective markets.

“Effective management of food safety risk starts with a tremendous culture of awareness about the primacy of food safety and expectations for high personal behavioral standards — all supported by strong restaurant surveillance routines and appropriate levels of training on a constantly refreshed basis. ”
CLIVE NEWTON – Yum! Chief Food Safety Officer

We intentionally engage other companies and suppliers in our industry to help build a collective culture of food safety and share best practices. As an example, for the past seven years Taco Bell has hosted a meeting of industry peers on emerging issues in food safety. The meeting is held during the Produce Marketing Association’s annual gathering, making it easy for companies to attend. Among the invited speakers have been experts on foodborne illness law and representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and CDC. By sharing knowledge with others, we position ourselves as a leader and elevate food safety practices industrywide.