Food Handling Safety - A Higher Standard
When your small child reaches out their hand, takes a grape and pops it in their mouth there is an unquestioned level of trust. A trust that what the parent is offering is good and will do them no harm. At Consumers Produce we believe our customers expect and deserve that same level of trust - so we have taken food safety steps far beyond what is required, or legally mandated. The Freshness Professionals have established an unprecedented set of standards to safeguard food safety.
"Alan (Consumers Produce President Alan Siger) decided since we are one of the few produce warehouses on the terminal market that actually keeps the cold chain in tact, we want to take a further step with a HACCP based food safety program," says Consumers Produce Operations Director Tom Sisko. "We want to show our customers that we're here to service them in a way that takes safety to a higher standard."
From the time products arrive on trucks or railcars at the Consumers Produce warehouse they go through a scrutinizing series of checks and everything is documented.
Starting with the cleanliness of the trucks and their temperature, to making sure our warehouse if free of contaminants, clean, and properly cooled, we monitor the quality and sanitary control until the products are in the hands of our customers.
From the Vidalia Onions stacked on pallets to the ceiling, to the bananas tucked away in their special ripening rooms, whatever the produce the emphasis is on cleanliness and safety. "Throughout the warehouse and even in the trucks, we are trying to eliminate anything that might contaminate the product." And Sisko adds, "There are very few produce companies in our area that have a program like this in place."
To get to this extraordinary level of food safety The Freshness Professionals called on the expertise of a food safety engineer to audit the entire operation. From the tomato line, to the display room and warehouse he has identified the critical points to be monitored and controlled. "These are the things we are constantly watching and documenting," Sisko says.
After all, ultimately what leaves our warehouse ends up a part of someone's meal and we want the same level of safety for that customer, as we would expect for our own families.
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