McEntire Produce, a fresh produce processor, repacker, and wholesaler serving the Southeast for more than 70 years, has improved throughput via implementation of SmartWash Solutions.
Dave Morris, senior vice-president of operations, said McEntire was looking to improve line efficiency and minimize line downtime. “We realized there were challenges running flume systems with heavy organic loads so we were looking for options to improve our uptime,” he said. “We have an automated system that shuts down the line if the sanitizer and pH are not appropriate. So we were looking for solutions to improve that—and, of course, ways to improve food safety.”
Morris said they found what they were looking for with SmartWash. This patented food wash enhancer boosts the effectiveness of standard chlorine-based wash systems, helping companies maximize efficiency. Its performance guarantees the consistent removal of pathogens and mitigation of cross-contamination of E coli and salmonella. SmartWash is also available in an organic formula.
“It’s not just dollars,” said Morris. “There is line capacity and getting orders out on time and providing great service for our customers. All sorts of things are affected.”
McEntire upgraded its wash systems after a process baseline assessment and with guidance from an implementation team from SmartWash.
“From start to finish it went very smoothly,” said Morris. McEntire began seeing less downtime and increased efficiency immediately with throughput increasing dramatically.
“SmartWash allows us to run higher pounds per hour while still keeping our pH and sanitizers at proper levels and not losing downtime,” said Morris. “It does depend on the product; for instance, onions are more difficult. So on average I would say 15% to 20% improvement.”
McEntire completed implementation of SmartWash in September 2012.
Begun in 1938 as a tomato repacker in Columbia SC, McEntire now employs approximately 400 people and has moved to a new, 163,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility with the capacity for future expansion.