Farming can be one of the most rewarding careers you can pick in life. Not to mention it’s one of the oldest trades in the world.
However, there are plenty of compliances issues when it comes to farming. Without the proper safety testing, you might get into trouble with the authorities and your products might have a lower quality.
After all, ensuring the safety of your product is crucial for the health of the consumers and keeping up the reputation of your farm.
To help you out, here are some farming tips to help you keep up with food safety testing.
Develop a Food Safety Plan
Create a comprehensive food safety plan from the beginning. It should outline the specific procedures and protocols you will follow to maintain a safe environment and prevent contamination.
Ideally, this plan should cover various areas like irrigation water, pest control, soil management, worker hygiene, and post-harvest handling techniques, among other things.
But to create the plan, you should familiarize yourself with local, regional, and national regulations surrounding food safety in farming. Not only that, but you should stay informed about any updates or changes to ensure that you are in compliance.
For instance, you might not even know that a certain change made it necessary to get allergen testing.
Conduct Regular Risk Assessments
You should regularly assess the potential risks and hazards on your farm that could compromise food safety.
This should include identifying potential sources of contamination to your farm, such as nearby industrial sites, water sources, or wildlife habitats, among other things. Once you identify the threats, you should develop strategies to mitigate these risks in the best way possible.
Train and Educate Employees
You should provide training to your employees on food safety practices and procedures. This can help you make sure they understand the importance of hygiene, proper handling, and storage of the produce, among other things.
Also, you should regularly reinforce these practices and provide refresher courses when necessary.
Maintain Good Agricultural Practices
You should look into the Good Agricultural Practices that apply to your farm. These can include maintaining proper irrigation practices, using safe and approved pesticides and fertilizers, monitoring and managing animal access to crops, and maintaining clean farm facilities, among other things.
It can also include maintaining the right equipment. If you have old or rusty tractors, you might need to buy a new tractor to keep up with Good Agricultural Practices.
Keep Detailed Records
You should maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all of your farming activities. This should include inputs, field inspections, pest management, and harvest practices, among other things. This way, you can easily increase your traceability and identify potential issues right away.
Regularly Test the Water and Soil Quality
You should regularly test the quality of the water and soil on your farm to make sure they meet safety standards. This way, you can identify any potential contaminants proactively and take corrective measures before any trouble comes up.
To take a step further, you can also work with accredited laboratories to conduct food safety testing on your produce. These labs have the expertise and equipment to identify potential risks with test like pesticide residue analysis, microbial testing, and heavy metal analysis, among others