According to the Presidentís Council on food safety, millions of Americans become sick and some even die from food born pathogens every year. It is an issue that concerns everyone from growers to retailers to consumers. As maintaining high food safety standards become increasingly vital, more and more businesses conduct self and third-party food safety and quality audits to comply with and improve their safety processes.
Food safety programs such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), as well as quality improvement programs, minimize the potential of food safety events and subsequent product recalls. Despite best efforts at prevention however, there may still be some degree of risk of product contamination or tampering at any point in the supply chain. To minimize potential harmful effects on consumers and the industry as a whole, Calavo has given a high priority to all practical solutions that address this issue.
In addition to stringent food safety procedures, Calavo has adopted and implemented product traceability best practices. The most internationally recognized definition of traceability defines it as the "ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by recorded identifications." This is usually done for the purposes of managing agriculture and food production, inventory, logistics, supply, quality, safety, product recalls and withdrawals, and compliance with legislation.
Traceability tools are installed at all of Calavo's packinghouses. All avocados delivered by growers are identified by lot numbers. Lot numbers identify the grower and ranch or parcel from which the fruit was picked. Growers also maintain picking records that indicate crew and location for delivered lots of fruit.
As the lot-identified fruit proceeds through the packing system, further identifiers are attached such as the ID of the particular machine that counts and fills each carton. Finally, the traceable information that is printed on the outside of packed cartons are the California state stamp indicating compliance with weight and size, grower lot number, letter code indicating the count/filler machine used, variety and size of fruit, date and location of where the avocados were packed.
This, combined with computer generated barcodes for palletized packed cartons, allows Calavo to both track fruit moving forward in the system and trace back to the day the fruit was picked in the grove. With these best practices, Calavo can ensure proper segregation and clear identification of the avocados we market and limit or minimize the impact of a product recall (should one occur), by limiting the scope of product implicated by providing traceability best practices tools.
PrimusLabs.com performs third-party food safety certifications for GMPís annually at Calavoís packinghouses located in Santa Paula and Temecula, California and in Uruapan, Michoacan Mexico. Additionally, Calavoís customers may perform food safety audits of our facilities upon request. All of Calavoís packinghouses have consistently received superior safety ratings by PrimusLabs.com.
PrimusLabs.com has distinguished itself by focusing its resources on addressing issues related to food safety and quality in the fresh produce industry. Their audits provide third-party certification of safe food production and determine compliance to all federal and state government requirements, including FDA, USDA, OSHA, and Public Health Departments. The company is also an approved certifying body of the EUREPGAP program, a grower level food safety program utilized by European retailers. And in cooperation with Reading Scientific Services Limited (RSSL), they are an approved inspection body under the British Retail Consortium (BRC) program.
Silliker performs third-party food safety certifications annually at Calavoís processing facility located in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico. Additionally, Calavoís customers may perform food safety audits of our facilities upon request. Calavoís 2006 audit received the Silliker Gold award, the top scoring audit level.
Silliker is a leading international network of accredited testing laboratories serving the food processing, retail, food service, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries with 38 labs in 10 countries meeting and exceeding ISO 17025 requirements.
As part of their total program approach to food safety, Silliker offers a diverse range of services to manufacturers and suppliers such as GMP's, HACCP verification, SOPís, Product and Quality Systems, and GAPís.
According to the company, a Silliker audit is a quality standard recognized around the world that demonstrates a commitment to excellence.