"The beauty of The Chef's Garden system is that they have made food safety a science. It has become a priority at the farm. It's part of their DNA," says Dr. Karl Kolb, president and CEO of The High Sierra Group and the farm's food safety consultant.
The Chef's Garden has made food safety an everyday way of life on the farm. With an advanced traceability system, several staff member devoted to food safety issues and farm-wide involvement in the process, the nation's foremost specialty produce farm is deeply committed to providing the safest specialty vegetables, lettuces, herbs and micro greens possible.
The Chef's Garden has been actively implementing comprehensive food safety procedures for a long time. Bob Jones, Jr, who is responsible for vegetable production at The Chef's Garden sits on the board of The Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement, as well as working collaboratively with reasearchers from agencies such as the Ohio Department of Agriculture and The Ohio State University on food safety research projects for on the farm efforts for growers of fresh produce.
Bob Jones, Jr. leads a Food Safety Team on the farm in establishing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in the field, greenhouses and Good Manufacturing Practices in the packing areas of the farm. The farm has also implemented more than a dozen procedures to review the safety of its products on a daily basis. These include a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points plan), metal detection of all outgoing products, documentation of packing room temperatures and pre-harvest testing for various foodborne illness organisms. As further assurance, the farm has through trace back system that records and tracks all of its products from seed to customer.