On-Farm Food Safety Program
safefood consulting inc.
Ben Chapman and Katija Blaine
Apr 23rd, 2004
An on-farm food safety program has been developed for Ontario asparagus growers that is based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles and consistant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Guide to Minimize Microbial Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The program is currently being implemented with the help of safefood consulting inc. who provide one-on-one support with implementing guidelines and paperwork. safeffod consulting has worked with Ontario fruit and vegetable producers and retailers to develop an on-farm food safety program that is practical and cost effective but still credible and accepted by buyers. safefood's consultants have published the only peer reviewed papers on implementation of on-farm food safety programs in fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada.
On Farm Visits: Food safety consultants conduct one-on-one visits with individual producers providing support and tailoring program to individual producer needs.
Employee Training: A training manual is included in the program and safefood's consultants also provide training on food safety and hygiene to asparagus workers. Tools such as hand washing signs are also provided to enhance worker compliance with hygiene requirements.
Microbiological Sampling: Microbiological sampling is done to verify that a producer is following the program, not to ensure that all products leaving the farm are safe. Fruit and/or vegetable samples are taken and tested for E. coli and total coliform. Test results are confidential and are always returned to the grower.
Communication of the Program: safefood consulting inc. can communicate program information to buyers and consumers through a variety of mechanisms including websites, brochures for buyers and articles for newspapers and magazines.
safefood consulting inc.
Food safety specialists with 5 years experience developing, evaluating, and implementing on-farm food safety programs for fresh fruit and vegetable producers in Ontario. safefood's consultants have worked with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association researching, developing, refining and implementing on-farm food safety programs. safefood consulting inc. has close partnerships with the University of Guelph's Food Safety Network (www.foodsafetynetwork.ca) and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors to ensure the food safety programs are scientifically credible and are accepted by retailers