The Primus audit covers Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). FSMS includes the paperwork and management aspect of the program. GAP relates to the safety, sanitation, and hygiene practices covered in the field while GMP deals with the safety, sanitation, and hygiene within the packing house. Workers are trained upon hiring and refresher trainings are also conducted each season. In addition, Southern Valley was also a leader in the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). This initiative created a case labeling system to aid in the traceability of product in the case of a recall.
When it comes to food handling facilities and processes, we are constantly making progressive changes to ensure the safety and quality of your food. For example, Southern Valley’s packing house is equipped with a forced-air high-humidity cooler, which sucks heat from the produce, runs it through a cooling tower, and then pushes cool air back down over the produce. This allows the produce to come from the field and be packed and cooled in 120 minutes, resulting in a longer shelf life. We have also added a chlorinated hydro-cooler which is used for our corn and yellow squash. These items, in conjunction with a new chlorinated squash packing line designed and built by us specifically for our packing needs, are just a few ways that we are ensuring the quality and safety of your food.
At Southern Valley, we are constantly using experience, technology, and innovation to improve our standards and provide our customers with the safest and highest quality produce possible.