Over the years, the quality assurance team at H-E-B has instituted some groundbreaking food monitoring and testing programs:
monitor fruits and vegetables for traces of more than 140 pesticide varieties. Shortly thereafter, the Alar scandal broke, raising the public's awareness of pesticide dangers. Scientists linked Alar, an apple-ripening agent, to cancer.
1994 The retailer started its own program to test ground beef for the potentially dangerous E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria.
1998 H-E-B recalled its Hill Country Fare private-label dry dog food, as part of a larger recall by Doane Products, following a spate of illnesses and deaths involving several dogs in central Texas. The company took out full-page ads in local newspapers to inform consumers, spent $43,000 on veterinary bills, and replaced more than 25 dogs for consumers, said Richard Parker, manager of quality assurance for H-E-B. Several other retailers also carried the product under various brand names.
1999 Company initiated its own recall of ground beef after tests revealed the meat contained the potentially dangerous E. coli 0157:H7. Days later, the company reported increased sales of ground beef.