Hitchcock Farms has been a signatory of the (LGMA) Leafy Greens Handlers Marketing Agreement since it’s inception in 2007. At Hitchcock Farms our employees are our first line of defense when it comes to food safety. All of our employees are trained in our food safety policies and procedures and are pro-active in there enforcement.
Food Safety History
Years before food safety became an industry “buzz-word” and even before the (LGMA) Leafy Greens Handlers Marketing Agreement Hitchcock Farms independently developed and in-house food safety program. We contracted the services of a third-party certified testing lab and auditing company to conduct independent third-party audits and testing of our produce and operations. Our commitment to food safety has always been at the fore front at Hitchcock Farms.
In 2006, we launched a comprehensive in-house food safety program, led by our director who has an advanced degree in food science and technology. Every aspect of our program adheres to manuals covering Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Harvesting Practices (GHP), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Our program includes extensive personnel training and monitoring to ensure compliance with those practices as well as standards for managing water resources and pre/post harvest sanitizers and chemicals. Hitchcock Farms’ 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 monthly ongoing training in food safety, product handling, hygiene and other food safety related issues. That training is supported by on going assessments and supervision to ensure practices are consistently applied. With continuing education for supervisors and foreman we are able to verify our training’s are up to date with current industry trends.
We conduct regular risk assessments of all water sources. All monthly water testing is done per (LGMA) Leafy Greens Handlers Marketing Agreement metrics and standards. Any open water source used for overhead irrigation of leafy greens will adhere to the strict LGMA metric implemented in 2019.
Third Party Audits
We voluntarily perform self audits as well as third party audits which certify our operations here at Hitchcock Farms.
These annual third party audits include:
- Ranch Audits
- Harvest Crew Audits
- Packing House Audits
- Cooling and Cold Storage Facility Audits