21

Apr 2016

Guide to Food Safety Certification for Packinghouses

Posted by / in Food Safety Certification /

Food Safety Then and Now

Let’s face it, the U.S. food safety market is a very confusing place at the moment. Previously, packinghouses were obtaining food safety certification on site due to the demand of their buyers. Distributors and retailers began to ask packinghouses for some sort of G.M.P. (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification to ensure consumer safety. In the U.S. there are multiple food safety standards and many auditing agencies to choose from. Packinghouses are left feeling confused and unsure how to proceed. Which food safety standard do I choose? Which auditing agency do I work with? How do I prepare for an audit?

Now, there is an added element to the food safety world- FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act). Packinghouses are now faced with FSMA mandated regulations with deadlines closely approaching. The leading food safety standards in the U.S. are working hard to ensure that their standards are compliant to FSMA. In the meantime, however, we can offer some guidance.

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19

Apr 2016

What is the Asian Citrus Psyllid?

Posted by / in Farming /

The Asian citrus psyllid is a dangerous insect pest that destroys citrus fruit and trees. This pest originated in Asia but is now found in several states within the United States, including:

• Texas
• South Carolina
• Arizona
• Georgia
• Louisiana
• Florida
• California

When United States government authorities find evidence of the Asian citrus psyllid in orchards, the area is quarantined to keep the pest from invading new regions. In several counties in California, there are education programs for farmers and food packers to help people identify the pest before it is transported to other areas.

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15

Apr 2016

What to Expect During Your First Organic Audit

Posted by / in Organic Combo Audits /

A company’s first organic audit can be a stressful time. Even business owners who have poured over the USDA accreditation process might still be unsure of what exactly is going to take place when the inspector finally arrives. Read ahead for a look at some steps you can take to make your first inspection for your organic audit as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Step 1: Review Your Organic Systems Plan (OSP)

Every certifier has their own OSP that must be kept up-to-date by their clients. As your inspection date approaches, you should review your OSP to ensure that no major changes have been made to your operation. In addition to making multiple copies of your OSP, you should be prepared to show records of how you are implementing every step of your plan.

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