7. Harvest & Post-Harvest Handling & Sanitation:

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Any surfaces that contact produce can introduce contaminants and create a food safety risk. In order to prevent this, these surfaces must be easily cleaned, and even better, sanitized. While there are differences depending on the specific structures in your farm, sanitizing generally should be prioritized by how close in proximity food contact surfaces are to the produce:

Priority:   Proximity to Produce:
1 Direct Contact: worker hands, conveyor belts, brushes, roller, sorting tables, etc.
2 Close Proximity: insides and outsides of washing equipment
3 Packing Area: trash cans, phones, drains, restrooms, etc.
4 Outside/Adjacent to Packing Area: loading docks, warehouse, manure/compost piles, et.

Make sure you clean and sanitize equipment properly, keep the correct Logs, and have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place. Rinse equipment first to remove any debris and to maximize effectiveness of the detergent and/or sanitizer. Then apply your cleaner, and rinse thoroughly with potable (equivalent to drinking water). Proper compliance of practices is crucial for the safety and success of your farm. For more information and educational materials, watch the video below or visit Cornell University’s GAPs and Cornell University’s Produce Safety Alliance. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with this topic, you can move on to others!

Informative videos on the GAP topics provided by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association