At Boggiatto Produce, our employees are at the heart of our “Quality to the Core” promise and when it comes to food safety, they’re also our first line of defense. And keep in mind that food safety begins on the farm, but it doesn’t end there. That’s why the California Leafy Green Handler Marketing Board (LGMA) created a website designed to show what California farmers are doing every day to make sure leafy greens are grown safely: www.safeleafygreens.org
From field to shipping dock, a commitment to food safety governs every aspect of the Boggiatto Produce operation. Years before food safety became an industry “buzzword,” we contracted the services of a third-party certified testing lab and auditing company to conduct independent third-party audits of our operations.
In 2006, we launched a comprehensive, in-house food safety program, led by a scientist with an advanced degree in food science and technology. Every aspect of the program is guided by manuals covering Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Harvesting Practices (GHP), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The program includes extensive personnel training and monitoring to ensure compliance with those practices as well as standards for managing water resources and monitoring the use of pesticides and other chemicals. It also provides for testing of fields to help verify that all produce is safe before harvesting. To supplement internal training, the auditing company also inspects our crews on a monthly basis and our fields prior to or as soon as the season begins.
California Leafy Green Handlers Marketing Agreement
Boggiatto Produce is a signatory to the California Leafy Green Handlers Marketing Agreement. This agreement sets forth best practices for growing, harvesting, and packing, as well as a trace-back system for all leafy greens, in the event a recall is needed. Compliance is monitored by government regulatory agencies.
The Leafy Green agreement is a supplement to the company’s already established, food safety program, which meets or exceeds the standard set forth in the agreement.
Furthermore, as a licensee of the United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, we are required to meet very strict criteria, which help assure consumers receive only fresh, safe produce. Boggiatto’s mandate is to exceed those standards and keep abreast of emerging science to ensure our program is always on the cutting edge of food safety.
Our employees receive regular, ongoing training in food safety, product handling, hygiene and other food safety related issues. That training is supported by vigilant supervision to ensure those safe practices are consistently implemented at every step of the growing, harvesting and shipping process.
We conduct regular water risk assessments of all water sources, including wells, reservoirs and canals. We test for microbial indicators of contamination and if results do not meet California Leafy Green Handlers Marketing Agreement standards, corrective action is taken immediately. The water is then retested before use to verify that the corrective action has been effective.
Pesticides and Chemicals
All pesticide and other chemical applications are closely monitored, as specified in our GAP manual, with systems that are double-checked every step of the way. In addition, those applications are monitored by both the third-party certified lab and the Agricultural Commissioner’s offices in each of our crop growing areas. Our fields are tested for pesticide residue to ensure the product meets our safety standards before harvesting can proceed.
Third Party Audits
For many years we have subjected our operations to third-party audits and inspections by a third-party certified lab and will continue to do so. These safety-focused audits include the following:
- Microbial testing
- Water testing
- Pesticide testing
- Ranch audits
- Harvest crew audits
- Cooling and cold storage audits