Ready-to-Eat Foods

Prepared and Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods Facilities Have Plenty on Their Plates, Including Food Safety, Production Rates, Packaging and Sustainability

By designing and building facilities for the world’s top food manufacturers including, Boar's Head, Columbus Foods, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Cuisine Solutions, Stellar understands the diverse needs of the modern-day RTE food processor. In the prepared and ready-to-eat foods industry, Stellar uses an integrated approach, providing comprehensive services from start to finish. This includes assisting in site selection and permitting, design and construction of world-class facilities, process engineering, process equipment procurement and installation as well as facility and process commissioning and startup.

Recalls due to allergens and microbes must be avoided from the very start, through following sanitary design best practices for both building and process equipment design. Stellar knows this best, helping define the industry’s widely accepted 11 food safety principles.

Our experts establish zones of control to separate production areas that house raw materials from cooked, ready-to-eat products. Employee welfare and support areas also must be segregated, to prevent contact between those who are exposed to raw ingredients from those who work in critical hygiene work centers and handle RTE products.

Understanding best practices for robotics and process control system applications is key as the technology’s role expands in the industry. Stellar understands a thing or two about speed, as we developed the industry’s first-ever triple-lane assembly line for Heinz’s frozen-food processing plant, believed to be the fastest entree line in North America, producing 9 million cases per year.

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Stellar has been a solid fit for Heinz. They have well-grounded people who work hard and understand our business. Their knowledge of the food and beverage industry continues to grow, specifically within their process and packaging engineering group. While they offer the typical A/E/C skillsets, they also understand and are gaining valuable real-world experiences of what happens inside the box, which adds considerable value for an owner.

I’ve worked with Stellar since the 1990s, and they have been very consistent in their project approach. They are careful in their planning, management and organization of the project. And while the process is structured, they are also flexible and responsive to project change.

I’ve also found Stellar’s people to be highly focused on value. They produce the right amount of deliverables, without adding drawings or specifications that aren’t needed. They are cognizant of budgets and pride themselves on delivering against budget.

Mike Keough
Senior Project Manager

Nestlé has had an ongoing business relationship with Stellar for approximately 10 years, and they have successfully completed several major industrial design-build construction projects in various locations ranging from $1 million to $140 million in value. The projects were executed in a professional manner and were delivered within the established schedule and budget. Stellar’s professionals have the experience, knowledge and skill sets necessary to properly design and execute large projects effectively.

Renato Becker
Sr. Project Manager

I am proud of the thoughtfulness, commitment and quality of work Stellar has demonstrated through the design, construction and commissioning of our production facility. Teamwork is critical to any project; the Starbucks and Stellar teams worked well together to achieve a first-class production facility.

Brent Denniston
VP of Manufacturing, Engineering and Quality