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LA CROSSE, Wis. -- In an effort to ensure products are safe before hitting the shelves, Kwik Trip Inc. recently celebrated the grand opening of its Food Protection and Food Risk Management Services Facility.
"What this was created for was to look at the food protection literally," Dr. Jay E. Ellingson, director of food safety, told local television station WKBT News. "We look at the food products we make, and make sure we make them safely at the highest quality, and at the end of the day at a good value."
Customer Angela Carlson told WKBT News she never considered how Kwik Trip prepared its food, and simply assumed it was safe. Carlson, and others, can rest easy explained lab technician Dan Kusilec who said products are subject to rigorous tests, such as counting bacteria and identifying problems, which is then reviewed by quality assurance officials.
"They decide whether they need to recall it or if the product is O.K. to go out," Kusilec told WKBT News. "This way, if there is ever a problem, they'll know long before it reaches the shelves."
In other Kwik Trip news, the company announced another new store location to follow the South Grand Avenue project, which is currently under construction. The second store, under the Kwik Star banner, has raised local eyebrows as the stores are located in close proximity in Charles City, Iowa, according to the Charles City Press.
"We're in the process of closing on that property right now and should have that store built by the summer of 2009," Hans Zietlow, director of real estate for the privately held company, told the newspaper. "The existing building will be torn down and there will be all new redevelopment from the ground up."
The South Grand location will be approximately 7,000 square feet; however, the c-store will not feature a restaurant or dining area. Zietlow told the paper that the second Kwik Star store will be similar with the differences being no diesel fuel but the addition of a car wash.
When asked by the paper why two news stores are being built in close proximity, Zietlow responded, "We realized that they are really two different demographic areas and not really overlapping markets at all," he said. "The community is large enough to accommodate two stores. You have your highway traffic at the one and regular downtown traffic at the other. Also, having the two stores should help separate out the highway truck traffic from the regular traffic."
Kwik Trip opened it first store in 1965 and currently operates 380 stores in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota under the Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Hearty Platter and Tobacco Outlet Plus banners.