Food Safety

For the past several years, the number of food borne illness outbreaks associated with fresh conventional /organic fruits and vegetables have increased in North America. The source of these potential contaminants are: soil, raw or inadequately composted manure, farm animal or wild life, infected field, poor hygiene of packing house workers, contaminated irrigation, cooling, washing and rinsing water.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an American non-profit organization, reported that between 1990 and 2001, the United States recorded a total of 1,590 outbreaks involving 72,390 cases of food poisoning. Of these numbers, 148 outbreaks (9.3%) with 9,413 cases (13%) of food poisoning were associated with fresh produce, including sprouts, spinach, lettuce, berries and cantaloupes.

Food safety programs in today’s organic agriculture industry are essential to assure healthy food options to the consumers. Food safety and traceability programs are the standard in today’s produce industry. The emphasis in organic agriculture is on prevention of problems rather than relying only on curative intervention. A principle of organic agriculture is the concept that productivity of organic farming starts at the soil. A well-balanced and biologically active soil will provide the crop with sufficient nutrients for optimum growth and yields with a minimum of pest and disease problems. Due this delicate balance a Food Safety and Recall Program is imperative in order to safe guard you and the consumer!

A recall protects both the consumer and the company. An efficient recall process can save a company’s name and prevent further damage due to negative publicity. It is important to be ready for a trace back and a product recall before a problem occurs. By developing Trace back and Product Recall Plan to prepare for an actual event, a company should be confident they would be able to:
• Protect consumer health
• Comply with existing rules and regulations
• Minimize the cost of a recall
• Regain and improve the company’s reputation

One of our objectives is to introduce the recall concept and the recall classification system, to describe the roles of government agencies, to outline the steps in a trace back and a recall process and to provide you the user with an editable plan for their company’s Trace back and Product Recall Program. All our manuals are updated frequently to take account of personnel and policy changes.

Our team of Food Safety and Management Experts can develop and customize programs to fit our clients’ current needs, irregardless of operational size and the stage of their food safety program. Our objectives are to reviews and develop food safety programs and to verify its conformity in order to prepare our clients for third party annual audit (Primus/AIB) certification.

Our quality assurance systems enable the application and verification of control measures intended to assure the quality and safety of food. They are required at each step in the food production chain to ensure safe food and to show compliance with regulatory and customer requirements.

Our systems are a set of controls implemented and verified each step in the chain (e.g. producers, farmers, fishermen, food processors, retailers, distributors, storage and transport personnel, etc.). Selection and application of quality assurance systems can vary depending on the step in the food production chain, size/capacity of the food business, type of product produced, etc. and may include Good Hygiene Practices (GHPs), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems and HACCP-based systems.

Our consultants will provides a pre-evaluation  or pre-audit of the clients facility to determine its conformance to all government requirements, including FDA, USDA, OSHA, CFIA, Public Health Departments, as well as state agencies with specific requirements.  Our Document Development program is a step by step, easy to use interactive manual builder. The manuals are designed to help shippers, growers, and produce suppliers reduce the risk of microbial, chemical or physical contamination from the field to the distribution of fresh produce.

The food safety manuals developed will address the following areas:

What is in the Food Safety Manuals

  • Good Agricultural Practices (for growing operations)
  • Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Pest Control
  • Guidelines for Handling Regulatory Inspections
  • Maintenance
  • Employee Personal Hygiene Practices
  • Employee Training
  • Monitoring & Recording Logs
  • Plant Security

Type of Food Safety Programs

  • ISO Based Program
  • HACCP Program
  • AIB
  • SQF
Type of Food Safety Manuals
  • Processing Facility Food Safety Manual
  • Packinghouse Facility Food Safety Manual, with or without HACCP
  • Storage & Distribution Centers Food Safety Manual
  • Cooling Facility Food Safety Manual
  • Ranch Food Safety Manual
  • Harvest Crew Food Safety
  • Trace Recall Manual
  • Green House Manual

Who are the Programs For

  • Farm (Ranch/Growers)
  • Green Houses
  • Shippers
  • Produce Supplier
  • Packinghouses
  • Cooling Operations
  • Cold Storage Facilities
  • Terminal Markets
  • Distribution Centers

Who Requires these Programs?

  • Retailers ( i.e. Publix, Krogers, Safeway, Loblaw’s, Sobeys,…)
  • Food Service (Costco, Sysco, Subway…)
  • Institutional
  • Processors
  • Consumers

Benefits of the Food Safety Programs

  • Customer Trust and Dependability
  • Maintain existing customers & gain new one
  • Reduce risk of recalls and product withdrawals
  • Protect Brand Equity