PSSI of Kieler, Wisconsin, said Monday that it signed a deal to purchase Safe Foods Corp. of North Little Rock, which will remain an "independent subsidiary" within the company.
PSSI said it is the industry's "leading food safety and contract sanitation provider." Founded in 1999, Safe Foods is a food safety performance management company with 135 employees.
"We are excited about what we will accomplish together," PSSI President and CEO Dan Taft said. "Using our shared mission and closely aligned core values as a strong foundation for our new partnership, we anticipate a seamless transition as we work together to optimize food safety and keep food safe for all."
Safe Foods works with food industry clients to reduce foodborne pathogens and meet regulatory requirements. Its Cecure product eliminates pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter while also extending shelf life. The company said it serves more than 110 food production plants in 11 countries in the meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetable markets. Its clients include eight of the top 10 U.S. chicken processors.
"Safe Foods has been focused on ensuring a safer food supply since its founding," Safe Foods President and CEO Chris Coleman said in a news release. "Our new partnership with PSSI will give us the ability to jointly build the world's premier food safety platform to provide a complete and comprehensive 24/7 solution to the world’s leading food producers."
PSSI said the acquisition is part of a strategic growth plan "to enhance its food safety program and offer new antimicrobial solutions to help its customers grow their businesses."
Safe Foods opened a new $15 million, 120,000-SF headquarters on 22 acres at 1501 E 8th St. in North Little Rock in 2019. The company said the expansion created 35 jobs and brought three disparate operations under one roof. The facility also allowed the company to manufacture, rather than outsource that function, under wholly owned subsidiary La Petite Roche Technologies.
In an email to Arkansas Business, Lawson Hembree, Safe Foods' director of corporate strategy and business development, said the company "plans to continue making investments in Arkansas and other strategic geographies to expand our capabilities and develop new technologies."
"This partnership with PSSI will accelerate our ability to ensure a safer food supply for the world by creating a food safety centric platform that will provide customers in all food categories with 24/7 coverage and solutions," Hembree wrote.
Safe Foods traces its roots to BioVentures, the business incubator at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where UAMS College of Pharmacy researchers developed the technology behind Cecure.
Carl Rosenbaum, Tony Rampley, and Curtis and Kathryn Coleman purchased the license for the technology from UAMS and incorporated Safe Foods in January 1999, with Curtis Coleman as the company's first president and CEO.
Chris Coleman became president and CEO in October 2016. Rosenbaum is chairman of the company's board of directors.