Growers can reduce their risk of microbial contamination of produce by:
- Reading through and adopting the Industry’s recommended practices.
- Ensuring staff are trained in good hygiene practices and aware of their responsibilities.
- Implementing a food safety program.
- Ensuring clean water sources are used for irrigation and final washing.
- Ensuring wash water is tested and changed regularly.
- Ensuring that fertiliser (whether organic or inorganic) storage areas are not located adjacent to growing areas so that they cannot cause contamination.
- Checking paddocks, sheds and produce for animal contamination.
- Thoroughly cleaning packing facilities and equipment before and during each season.
The keys to marketing safe fresh produce are good agricultural practices during growing and harvesting and good hygiene and sanitation practices in the packing shed. To ensure practices remain effective it is essential to review all practices on a seasonal basis or when changes occur. Re-assess the risks whenever there are any.