WESTERN Australian rockmelon producers have been given a helping hand in ensuring their food safety protocols are up-to-date.
In July, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) food safety specialists, Dr SP Singh and Zabrina Khan made their way to Carnarvon to visit local rockmelon growers and packers to discuss food safety improvements that could be made to their systems.
The visits were interactive and included a walk through various packing facilities in which Dr Singh explained aspects that could be improved, altered or eliminated to increase food safety procedures, whilst outlining areas where unwanted pathogens are most likely to establish and therefore need attention during cleaning.
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Time was also taken to explain proper sampling protocols for effective monitoring to be conducted.
All the participants said they found the visits beneficial and provided feedback to Dr Singh on which areas of priority need clarification.
- Industry standard on concentrations of sanitisers;
- Industry standard on exposure time of fruit treatment with sanitised water.
The Carnarvon district will work closely with NSW DPI’s food safety research group led by Dr Singh into the future to establish a high food safety standard for producers and packers of horticultural produce.
The visit was part of a food safety project funded by Hort Innovation using melon grower levies and funds from the Australian government.