• Ready for the audit?

Ready for the audit?

  • May 1st, 2012

Nicole Brunner checks the Gras2p training manual, which can be purchased by any Washington grower.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

More Washington growers and packers are turning to Gras2p (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) for help in preparing for third-party certifications, such as GlobalGAP.

The Washington State Horticultural Association [...]

DNA test identifies pathogens in tainted foods

  • April 1st, 2012

Fruit or vegetable packers concerned that their produce may be contaminated with unsafe pathogens will soon have a simple screening method they can use to ease or confirm their fears. It’s a handheld tool that’s said to be easy to use on-site, gives results in about an hour, and [...]

Underground drip irrigation serves two purposes

  • April 1st, 2012

Water is plentiful in the fruit-growing area along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, so it’s not scarcity that’s an issue. The problem is with some water that’s been made slightly dirty but is perfectly useful if ­handled right.

That’s led some fruit growers and fruit processors to make double use of [...]

  • Tackle food safety one step at a time

Tackle food safety one step at a time

  • March 15th, 2012

Implementing a food safety program for an orchard might seem overwhelming. But with forethought, planning, and willingness to seek assistance, growers can implement a workable program, agreed a panel of Washington State tree fruit food safety experts during the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in January.

Since the Food Safety Modernization [...]

Good Point

  • February 1st, 2012

Arsenic in apple juice. Apples, pears, and cherries on the Environmental Working Group’s latest “Dirty Dozen List.” Canned fruit contaminated with BPA, a chemical in the lining of cans. A dangerous synthetic pesticide—pick your specific agricultural chemical—should have its registration pulled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Brushfires of these [...]

Sell food safety from the top down

  • February 1st, 2012

Food safety means different things to different people—sanitation, temperature control, personal hygiene, quality assurance, regulations—but what it really boils down to is human behavior, says a Kroger food safety manager. Changing behavior starts at the top and must be “sold” to employees if food safety is to be embraced.

Last [...]

Single audit standard on the books

  • September 1st, 2011

Produce growers are getting closer to being able to follow one standard set of food safety rules and undergo a single auditing procedure that assures their compliance.

Following meetings in Chicago late in July, United Fresh Produce Association changed the status of the proposed ­harmonized GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) standards [...]

Put us to work for you

  • August 1st, 2011

I am fortunate to travel the country meeting with apple growers, packers, and other USApple members, and hear firsthand the issues and challenges they are facing daily. I am often asked, “What are the important issues?” and I want to provide an inside look at the challenges your staff [...]

  • In the box

In the box

  • August 1st, 2011

Dawson Moore loves apples.

Apple fan
Dawson Moore, pictured on his first birthday last fall, just couldn’t wait until the day when he had enough teeth to bite into a delicious whole apple.

He was photographed at an orchard in Utah by a friend of his parents, Lance and Lynell Moore, [...]

Good Point – Save “Lassie”

  • May 1st, 2011

In late March, Elizabeth Taylor died at age 79 after a long career in front of wedding cakes and movie cameras. Her first major Hollywood picture was Lassie Come Home in 1943. This film was the forerunner to the Lassie television show of the 1950s and 60s: there the [...]

New food safety law could swallow GAP programs

  • March 1st, 2011

When provisions of the new food safety law (the ­American Food Safety Modernization Act) are implemented, Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification ­programs should wither away, no longer needed.

But that’s not likely to happen soon, according to Phil Tocco, a Michigan State University Extension educator who advises fruit growers and [...]

Task force to tackle food safety

  • January 15th, 2011

Published January 15, 2011
The Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry is forming a special task force to draw up a food safety plan.

Chris Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, said the task force’s job will be to develop a science-based good agricultural practices plan that is as reasonable [...]