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PRODUCTS IN FIELD
The River Ranch Field Procurement Department oversees that our products are harvested correctly at the proper maturity in the field, along with overseeing that the pesticides applied meet and are within the State and Federal regulatory standards. In addition, we have Primus Labs, as a third party, randomly test products before they are harvested to check for pesticide residues and audit the fields and crews to assist us with monitoring our food safety programs.
RECEIVING AT PROCESSING FACILITY
Transaction numbers are assigned to each load as the product is received at the processing facility. The transaction number follows the product through all steps the of processing, to packaging, to palletizing, which gives us the traceability for our products. Once received, the products are cooled (field heat is removed) to preserve the quality via a Hydro-chiller, Hydra-vac, or Hydro-cooler. Each truck load is audited. Random samples are pulled from several different bins / trays / cartons and graded to our specifications.
Products are conveyed, inspected, cut to size, rinsed in chlorinated (Sodium Hypochlorite) water, dried, packaged, passed through metal detectors, placed in the cartons, and palletized.
All temperatures are considered important controls to preserve the quality and to assist in food safety concerns. Temperatures of rooms, raw product, processing waters, finished products and storage areas, etc., are monitored ongoing throughout the process to assure the best quality.
A Micro Technician on site at our processing facility, performs tests on finished products directly off the production lines as well as, randomly tests the raw products, processing waters, swabs product contact surfaces, and swabs for environmental concerns. We use Primus Labs as a resource for verification.
Sanitation is an extremely important part of the processing facility. The crew makes sure that all product contact surfaces, conveyors, equipment, floors and drains, etc., are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized throughout the facility every night. Micro results are used as a tool to inform our sanitation department of their progress and to assist us in problem solving.
The processing facility, the dock, and the surrounding grounds are inspected by several individual private label customers as well as, third parties such as: AIB (American Institute of Baking )and Primus Labs, to assess the facility's policies, procedures and programs. Overall we have many programs, policies and procedures in place and enforced to make every effort to ensure the safety and cleanliness of our products. Such policies include Personnel Hygiene Rules, a H.A.C.C.P (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) program, a Glass and Brittle Plastic Policy, etc.
All personnel must follow strict Personnel Hygiene Rules. Hair nets, beard nets, smocks and gloves are issued daily. Bump caps, protective eyeglasses and hearing protection are provided for personal safety. Hand and foot sanitizer's are placed at each entry into the processing areas. Designated smoking and eating areas are located outside the processing facility, in non-product zones.
River Ranch's H.A.C.C.P Program includes a Flow Diagram, Analysis of points throughout production, Critical Control Points and description of all products.
**For more information on our Food Safety Programs and Policies, please contact Kari Valdes, Director of Q. A. at 1-800-538-5868, ext. 6304.
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