Eurofresh Farms, a year-round producer and marketer of greenhouse-grown tomatoes and cucumbers based in Willcox and Snowflake AZ, has developed and is implementing a food safety system to elevate protection of its produce.
A new process called EnviroLock increases safety of Eurofresh Farms’ products by further controlling the physical entry points in the growing and packaging areas of its facilities and works in tandem with the company’s controlled greenhouse environment.
EnviroLock facilities have been installed at several sites at the Willcox facility and will be fully implemented throughout all company greenhouses by early 2011.
“We’re setting a new industry standard for food safety with our EnviroLock system,” said Johan van den Berg, chief executive officer and founder of Eurofresh Farms. “By taking extra safety measures, we are further preventing pathogens from entering the facilities and are ensuring that our customers and consumers receive the highest-quality—and best-tasting—produce possible.”
Van den Berg said even though Eurofresh Farms has never been affected by instances of foodborne illness and disease, the company developed EnviroLock as an additional preventative and precautionary protocol.
With the EnviroLock system, anyone entering the greenhouse facilities must pass through a sanitation facility where they must first wash and disinfect their hands and forearms, then change into sanitized, hospital-style scrubs and shoes. These uniforms are color-coded to indicate the section of the greenhouse in which personnel will be working. Hairnets and sterile gloves are also donned before entering the growing areas.
“Our operations team decided to color-code the EnviroLock uniforms to help eliminate any potential for cross-contamination,” said Craig Boudle, senior manager of environmental safety and risk management for Eurofresh Farms. “The color-coding system allows supervisors to visually identify who should be in specific areas, as well as promote an understanding among employees of the company’s safety procedures.”
For more information, visit www.eurofresh.com.