Eurofresh Farms, a year-round producer and marketer of greenhouse-grown tomatoes and cucumbers located in Willcox and Snowflake, AZ, have developed and are implementing a benchmark food-safety system to elevate the protection of their produce.
“EnviroLockTM” is a new process that increases the safety of Eurofresh Farms’ products by further controlling the physical entry points in the growing and packaging areas of their facilities and works in tandem with the company’s existing 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 have never been affected by instances of foodborne illness and disease, the company developed EnviroLock as an additional preventative and precautionary protocol.
“It is nearly impossible for bacteria like salmonella to come in contact with our produce because of our meticulous greenhouse growing practices,” he said. “However, we are setting a higher standard for food safety here at Eurofresh Farms.”
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 specific section of the greenhouse in which they will be working. Hairnets and sterile gloves are also applied 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 about the EnviroLock system, visit www.eurofresh.com.