Part 4 of Preparing Your Farm Food Safety Plan
-Meredith Melendez and Wes Kline
Part 4 continues the Answering General Questions portion of your farm food safety plan, which covers the broad details of:
- Who is responsible for the farm food safety plan and how to reach them
- Worker health and hygiene education
- Pesticide usage
Suggested wording for traceback, which may work for your farm food safety plan, is given in this installment.
The grower needs to be able to trace their product one step forward (to the buyer) and one step back (to the field). This cannot prevent an outbreak, but can help locate the source of the problem. The ability to trace your product is a key component of your farm food safety plan and is necessary to pass a third-party audit. Wholesale growers are required to mark each container so that final purchaser will contain the necessary information to traceback the product to its farm of origin.
Your Farm Food Safety plan must include a written traceback procedure:
- Harvest dates, specific field, product location within the field or orchard, number of packages within a lot, packing and shipping date and harvest crew records should be kept.
- The farm name and address need to be on all boxes.
- Each container must contain some type of identification that will maintain its integrity throughout the harvesting and marketing process. This can be accomplished with stickers, stamps or may be handwritten.
- The coding system is available for review.