Effective food control practices, policies and procedures are all essential to protect the health and safety of consumers. They are also critical to assure the safety and quality of their foods entering the market place are able to adapt to the appropriate food industry requirements. Consumers today are taking a unique interest in the origin of their foods; from how it's prepared, all the way to farm where the ingredients were grown. Here at Watsonia Farms, Food Safety is our #1 priority. Our well trained staff is committed to developing and maintaining the farms' food safety program. Most people don't realize that it is necessary for farms to enforce different layers of protection for their products. Our farm is made up of multiple components to ensure that the end product is safe for consumption: Crop Inputs, Ranch, Harvest, Tracibility and Facility.
Crop Inputs- Crop Inputs include a number of different, but equally important components. The origin and variety of the seed, the fertilizers used to assist with the growing process, and even the packaging for the product (just to name a few) all have to be approved and deemed as 'food safe' before we consider even using them.
Ranch- The field where the product is grown (and in fact spends most of its time) is also a very important factor. The farm is required to maintain the growing area in such a way to avoid the risk of any potential food safety issues, such as flooding and pest control.
Harvest- All products are harvested in a manner which is intended to prevent intentional contamination and protect the produce from being adulterated in any way.
Traceability- When our fruits and vegetables are harvested, they are labeled with vital information which is log into our system for tracking purposes. This information includes the commodity, variety, field, and date that the product was harvested. This allows us to be able to retain the most pertinent details of the produce we harvest everyday.
Facility- After the product is harvested, it is brought to the facility where it is sanitized, graded and packaged to be shipped to the customers. It is mandatory for facilities to have preventive control measures in place to ensure that the product is safely prepared to protect the consumer from any possible food safety related issues.
The terms food safety and food quality can sometimes be confusing. Food Safety refers to all those hazards that make food harmful to the health of the consumer. Food Quality includes all other attributes that influence a product's value to the consumer including negative attributes (such a spoilage, discoloration, off-odors) and positive attributes (such as origin, color, flavor, texture, and the processing method of the food). Watsonia Farms makes this important distinction between food safety and food quality (although both are important) throughout the development and implementation of our food safety program.
For 100 years, we have been committed to providing the safest and best quality produce for our consumers and will continue to adhere to any future food safety regulations.