Safeway vigorously defends its food handling practices and refutes Teamster Local 439 claims to the contrary made at a press conference today. "Food safety has always been one of our top priorities and the current labor dispute has not changed that," said Debra Lambert, Safeway Corporate Director - Public Affairs. "The irresponsible claims made today by the Teamsters regarding the safety of certain products are simply not true." Safeway legally and safely transported a limited quantity of perishable products between some of its stores in Northern California. The product was transported short distances and the company was careful to ensure that proper temperature was maintained at all times. Any perishable product was moved in original sealed packages within cartons. The movement of product between stores is not Safeway's standard practice, but is not a violation of the law. The Company has been in contact with the California State Department of Health and various County Departments of Health to assure them all products were handled in a safe manner. Safeway maintains that none of the product transported between stores created a health risk to customers. Safeway reiterated the current labor dispute is between the Teamsters and Summit Logistics Inc. The Teamsters represented by Local 439 do not work for Safeway. "The Teamsters' efforts against our stores are misplaced. This irresponsible claim is another ploy by Local 439 to discourage Safeway customers, which directly threatens the jobs of Safeway's 20,000 unionized employees," added Lambert.