Food safety begins right on the farm. The quality of produce sent to the consumer marketplace is directly affected by the care given to the produce on the field. Today, more and more people are becoming very conscious of the food on their plate. This is because numerous studies have linked many illnesses and infections to poor food production and safety. Farmers should strive to implement food safety practices in order to reduce the risk to human health. As a consumer, it is important to ensure that the food you consume in your home is free of microbial, chemical and physical hazards.
Let’s look at 3 things you should know about with food safety in the produce field.
- Pesticides And Chemicals
Pesticides and chemicals are very important for plant protection. Pesticides are used to control weeds, insect infestation and improve crop quality. However, some pesticides are very toxic and can have harmful effects on humans. Chronic health problems such as cancer can occur many years after exposure to harmful pesticides.
Ensure that you always consume high quality produce all the time. If you cannot grow your own food, shop healthy. Buy food from trusted growers who ensure that pesticide residues are eliminated from the produce before harvesting.
- Soil And Irrigation
Soil and water play a critical role in food safety in the produce field. Pathogens enter plant tissues through the roots, an injury on the plant or through the stomata. Pathogens in the soil and water can contaminate fresh produce leading to foodborne illnesses which are sometimes, life-threatening.
Healthy soil is often less friendly to pathogens. It is important for farmers to manage all their water sources in order to reduce the pathogen load. Water sources should also be protected from fecal contamination, chemicals, and pesticide residues. Farmers and growers should ensure that the water used for irrigation, spraying, and fertigation is free from microbial contamination.
- Worker Hygiene
The personal hygiene of farm workers directly impacts food safety. This is because the fresh farm produce is often handled with hands. The hygiene of those workers who handle food is critical. Pathogens can be easily transferred from their hands onto the produce. Poor hygiene practices increase the risk of contamination. Spitting, sneezing or coming to work sick can spread infectious disease in the field.
Farmers and growers are responsible for providing a healthy and clean working environment. Food safety training should be conducted occasionally to ensure that workers promote safe work habits. Proper hand washing should be taught to new workers and adequate handwashing facilities should be provided. Worker facilities such as toilets, meal areas, and changing rooms should be kept clean at all times. These facilities should also be conveniently located to ensure that the workers use them well. When proper hygiene is maintained in the field, the risk of produce contamination is greatly reduced.
There you have it. 3 things you should know about food safety in the produce field. Boggiatto Produce in California is committed to food safety. Boggiatto produce takes pride in producing high-quality produce throughout the year. Buy Boggiatto Produce today and enjoy great food, grown safely.