The demands placed on farm operators, in terms of food safety documentation, are overwhelming. Growers are dealing with changing and conflicting guidelines from their wholesale customers as well as government entities. No matter that the dust has yet to settle on what practices make sense and what documentation requirements are reasonable for farm operators to perform, the bottom line is this: your operation needs to have a farm food safety plan in writing.
To ease the burden, we’ve gathered information on what needs to be in your farm food safety plan based on current guidelines. We will continue to update this information as it becomes available.
Components of a Farm Food Safety Plan
Keep a binder with sections including: information about your operation; documentation about how your operation deals with worker hygiene education and your traceback scheme; logs documenting compliance on specific items; potential food safety issues that have come to light as a result of reviewing your logs documenting compliance, with actions to remedy those issues; summary of how potential contamination is minimized with respect to irrigation waters, wildlife and other animals, and past land use; and documentation of how your operation deals with specific procedures in the field and packing house to maximize farm food safety.
Read the following articles that go into detail about these sections:
- The Farm (about your operation)
- Compliance Logs (documenting compliance)
- Potential Contamination Review (reviewing possible issues that may impact food safety such as irrigation waters, animal presence, and previous land use)
- Specific Procedures (what you do that maximizes farm food safety during farm activities)