This year I will focus on how food safety everyday is implemented by my clients and how they communicate this to their customers. It is not always a cake walk. New employees, new compliance requirements, busy seasons and supervisors/managers/coordinators wearing many different hats and changing positions can be a challenge.
Let's travel to a farm visit where a harvest crew is being trained to harvest a new product. Looks neat and tidy right? What can you see that may need improving?
Yes, you got it! Harvested product cartons will need barriers from direct contact with the soil. This operation went far beyond a simple barrier after trialing different methods of harvesting. They purchased new harvest equipment! Cartons are pre loaded onto the harvest equipment platform, built and labeled on the second level, and never come in contact with the soil. After careful handling and a spray of antimicrobial before packing, the carton is conveyed to a trailer that transports the product to a cooler. A large cost to the operation...more efficient, employee friendly, better safety and quality. A good investment!
Another observation while training this crew that is common among new crew members and should be re-enforced by harvest crew supervisors/managers often. Stay in control of harvest tools at every step. From issuing the tools, collecting the tools, sanitizing throughout and at end of day and storing the tools.
How should this knife be worn?
This operation chose cleanable and sanitizable knife scabbards for their employees safety and cleanliness.
After a day in the field, this client has completed an internal harvest crew audit and will work on documenting corrective actions and setting validation review timelines. Job well done!