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Customized Safety Management System Helps Food Distributor Protect Both Workers and Equipment During Sizable Expansions

With the help of: Impact Washington


Cutting Edge Meat Processors LLC is a USDA-licensed meat processing plant. In April of 2013, the owners of J Food Distributors purchased Melody Meats & Seafood Corp located in Tacoma, Washington. They changed the name of that company to Cutting Edge Meat Processor LLC. In 2020, Cutting Edge Meat Processors moved its operation to a larger facility located in Lakewood, Washington. Cutting Edge Meat Processors processes beef, pork and poultry under the brand “Emerald City Meats.” The plant processes and boxes all customers' needs, including diced, sliced and portioned cut proteins.

The Challenge

S&J’s expansion will increase S&J’s manufacturing capacity and distribution capability to keep pace with continued growth. The U.S. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) helped with funding and provided a $12,500 grant to the company to get the project off the ground. The money was explicitly used to hire Impact Washington, part of the MEP National Network™, to help with plant layout, regulatory compliance, and ensure the new facilities kept up with food production standards.

Impact Washington is a critical partner for small and medium-size organizations. Their expertise has given our company a competitive advantage that will benefit us in the long-term growth.
— Agung Soetamin, General Manager

MEP's Role

Impact Washington’s initial engagement with S&J Food Distributors in 2020 led the company through a rigorous process to ensure the new facility met federal, state, and local standards for food production. Soon after this initial engagement COVID-19 hit. Impact Washington provided a no-cost comprehensive workplace safety plan specific to Cutting Edge Meat Processors that included all necessary components to open the new facility to keep their team and community safer.  

Impact Washington also worked with S&J’s leadership team on a step-by-step approach to developing a Company Safety and Health Program partially funded from the available CARES Act. The goal was, to begin with, a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. The program included a hazard/compliance physical inspection, written safety policies, and procedures while identifying any need for additional written programs. Impact Washington’s trusted Advisor helped S&J Food Distributors set up, create standards and provide training for an in-house Safety Committee, including the development of safety training materials. Additional guidance was given to help S&J conduct a safety training needs assessment to develop a safety orientation and safety training program. Lastly, Impact Washington provided leadership training to assist the management team with Job Hazard Analysis development and structure, leading to specific training documents for each job task or classification.

Created February 1, 2022