At OAFVC, we’re strong advocates for food safety practices, including hand washing, wearing gloves, and hair nets. Our fruit and vegetable processing room — great for cold pressing, dehydrating, slicing, dicing, and more — requires additional food safety practices. So here’s a run down of some other best practices all food processors should know.
Food Safety Tips
Clean Fresh Produce
In accordance with national safety requirements, make sure you’re washing fruits and vegetables in a hygiene bath to kill any harmful bacteria. At OAFVC we use Microkill, which has the added benefit of being bleach- and alcohol-free, so it's safe for the food we eat.
Even if you clean your food, if you’re not clean first your products are still at risk of contamination. For farmers coming straight from the fields, we have showers onsite, so our clients can clean up before processing their food. We also provide lab coats to ensure an extra level of sanitation for food handling.
OAFVC’s fruit and vegetable processing room is controlled for temperature and humidity because room temperature is critical for food safety. Since the temperature needs to be adjusted depending on the food being processed, we have temperature and humidity controls so you can fine-tune the settings for the types of food being processed.
It’s hard keeping track of numerous different temperature requirements, so if you’re worried about accidentally missing or forgetting something, it’s worth looking into a certified course on safe food handling. In Canada, the certification isn’t always compulsory (it depends on what municipality you’re in), but the courses will teach you the right practices and give you more confidence in the kitchen.
Clean Equipment (or Clean Out of Place)
For more sanitary equipment, try cleaning out of place. This is the process of disassembling and sanitizing your appliances for a more thorough clean, as opposed to cleaning in place, where you leave your appliances where they are and spray them down.
As part of OAFVC’s out of place cleaning processes, we remove equipment, and put waterproof plugs on outlets (to keep the water out and reduce the risk of electrocution), before we clean the rooms. Equipment is also disassembled and cleaned thoroughly, to prevent build-up in any hard-to-reach areas.
While it’s a lot of trouble, cleaning out of place ensures a higher standard of cleaning. In line with national standards, we also keep a record of our cleaning processes, to show to the health inspector during an audit.
It’s worth installing equipment in your kitchen facility to make working conditions safer for you and your staff. At OAFVC we have conveyor belts so our clients don’t have to lift heavy cases and risk injury. It also makes it easier and faster for our clients to move bulk products.
But injuries aren’t limited to physical labour. At OAFVC, we prevent potential injuries by providing our clients with special training for any point in the process, including cooking, processing, packaging, and testing of products.
Grow Your Business Safely
If you’d like to see other ways you can grow your business safely, download the FREE e-book below. Learn how to process high-volume orders safely and efficiently and provide your staff with training so they can operate commercial equipment safely.