The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published new guidance to assist growers with the safe production of fresh produce on farms.
Not only is fresh produce becoming more popular in Ireland, it is also consumed more frequently. Therefore, it is important that growers producing fresh produce use good agricultural and hygiene practices to reduce risk and improve the safety of fresh produce for all consumers.
"A lot of fresh produce is eaten raw such as fruits, vegetables and herbs, so any harmful bugs that may be in the produce will not be removed by cooking. This places a big onus on growers to use good agricultural and hygiene practices to reduce the risk of contamination of fresh produce," said Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI.
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The guidance highlights eight key areas which growers should focus on to help reduce risk and improve food safety, including: choosing the right site to grow fresh produce; restricting the access of animals, pests and people to that site; using organic fertilisers safely; using pesticides safely; sourcing and using a safe water supply; using good harvesting practices; training staff and providing good staff facilities; putting a system of traceability and recall in place.
The new guidance document and leaflet are available for free download at www.fsai.ie.
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