Food Safety Program

Church Brothers and True Leaf Farms pride themselves with having the highest integrity when it comes to Food Safety Standards and we adhere to the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement standards.

Food Safety Login

Produce Traceability Initiative Compliant
The Produce Traceability Initiative, sponsored by Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, is designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future.

The PTI has a bold vision which outlines a course of action to achieve supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case of produce by the year 2012.

  • Assign Company Prefix
  • Assign GTIN #s
  • Provide GTIN Information to buyers
  • Show Human Readable Information on Cases
  • Encode Information in a Barcode
  • Read and Store Information on Inbound Cases
  • Read and Store Information on Outbound Cases

GFSI: Global Food Safety Initiative
GFSI benchmarks existing food standards against food safety criteria, and also looks to develop mechanisms to exchange information in the supply chain, to raise consumer awareness and to review existing good retail practices.

All Church Brothers’ leafy greens growers are required to conduct a GFSI or equivalent approved audit. (Primus GFS and Global GAP)

True Leaf Farms – Primus GFS Certified

CHURCH BROTHERS FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM

GROWER & SITE SELECTION

  • Review grower food safety and GAP program
  • Complete pre-season, pre-planting Risk assessment (e.g. distance to risk areas, water microbiological quality, water source, flooding & ranch history)
  • Accept or reject grower/ranches
  • Take corrective actions if necessary as part of final approval

LAND PREPARATION/PRE-PLANTING

  • Full soil amendment requirements
    • - Obtain and Review Certificate of Analyses (COA), which validates amendment process, animal and/or non-animal
      source, and microbiological testing results
    • - Compost procedures, Sampling procedures, etc.
    • - Ensure application of amendments meets time interval between application and harvest, if derived from animal origin
  • Determine, Test & Review type of water irrigation system to be used: foliar or non-foliar application
  • Verify non-synthetic crop treatments
    • - Obtain COA validation process and microbiological testing results
    • - Ensure treatments do not come into direct contact of edible portion of crop
  • Verify synthetic crop treatment: Letter of Guarantee.

PLANTING

  • Monitor growing conditions and quality (e.g. animal intrusion, flooding) and report unacceptable findings, take corrective actions, and document
  • Receive and review monthly water microbiological testing results, and take necessary corrective actions
  • Review 3rd Party GAP ranch audits and ensure all corrective actions have taken place
  • Confirm compliance to LGMA metrics

PRE-HARVEST

  • Conduct Pre-Harvest Field Assessment
  • Receive and review water testing results to ensure compliance
  • Collect documentation verifying employee GAP training

HARVEST

  • Conduct daily Harvest Assessment
  • Ensure crew has undergone GAP Training, 3rd Part GAP Harvest Crew Audit or an internal audit and that corrective actions have been taken place, if necessary
  • Conduct Monthly Harvesting Food Safety training on Food Safety Topics (proper hand washing, health & Hygiene, etc.)
  • Collect documentation ensuring that postharvest water in direct contact with portions of crops meets microbiological standards

TRUE LEAF FARMS’ FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM AT FIELD LEVEL

SITE SELECTION

  • Obtain ranch maps
  • Complete Site Selection Assessment, form GAP #10 (e.g. distance to risk areas, water microbiological quality, water source, flooding & ranch history)
  • Review form GAP #10 for Evaluation
  • Accept or reject ranch
  • Take corrective actions if necessary as part of final approval

LAND PREPARATION/PRE-PLANTING

  • Full soil amendment requirements
    • - Obtain Certificate of Analyses (COA), which validates amendment process, animal and/or non-animal source, and
      microbiological testing results
    • - Review COA
    • - Ensure application of amendments meets time interval between application and harvest, if derived from animal origin
  • Complete Pre-Planting Assessment, form GAP #11 (e.g. animal or human intrusion), and take corrective actions, if required
  • Determine type of water irrigation system to be used: foliar or non-foliar application
  • Verify nonsynthetic crop treatments
    • - Obtain COA validation process and microbiological testing results
    • - Ensure treatments do not come into direct contact of edible portion of crop
  • Verify synthetic crop treatment: obtain COA validation process

PLANTING

  • Monitor growing conditions and quality (e.g. animal intrusion, flooding) and report unacceptable findings, take corrective actions, and document
  • Receive and review monthly water microbiological testing results, and take necessary corrective actions
  • Review 3rd Party GAP ranch audits and ensure all corrective actions have taken place

PRE-HARVEST

  • Complete equipment approval form and take corrective actions, if necessary
  • Conduct Pre-Harvest Field Assessment, complete form GAP #13 (e.g. animal, and/or human intrusion, flooding, runoff, and take necessary corrections of needed
  • Receive and review monthly water microbiological testing results to ensure compliance
  • Collect documentation verifying employee GAP training

HARVEST

  • Conduct a Harvest Assessment, complete form GAP #15, and ensure necessary corrective actions have been implemented
  • Ensure crew has undergone a 3rd Part GAP Harvest Crew Audit or an internal audit and that corrective actions have been taken place, if necessary
  • Conduct Monthly Harvesting Food Safety & Quality Audit, complete form GAP #16, and take necessary actions if needed
  • Collect documentation ensuring that postharvest water in direct contact with portions of crops meets microbiological standards

TRUE LEAF FARMS’ FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM AT PLANT LEVEL

TRANSPORTATION OF RAW PRODUCTS

  • Inspect transportation for cleanliness

RECEIVING, COOLING, & STORAGE

  • Collect field Bill of Lading (BOL)
  • Assign internal lot coding tag
  • Inspect for obvious sign of product contamination and quality issues
  • Record product temperature before and after cooling
  • Store product in refrigerated room; room must be maintained at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Maintain pest control program
  • Ensure storage facility is kept clean and used only for produce
  • Conduct a monthly cooling facility audit, complete form GAP #17, and perform corrective actions if needed

PROCESSING

  • Ensure proper sanitizer level is maintained, ORP at 650 mV or free chlorine above 1 ppm and pH 6.5-7.5
  • Make sure the facility has the following programs:
    • - Traceability/recall
    • - HACCP
    • - GMP
    • - GSFI (SQF Complaint)
    • - Pest Control
    • - Employee Training
    • - Microbiological Testing
    • - Food Security/Bioterrorism
    • - Crisis Management
    • - Self Inspection
  • Schedule a yearly 3rd party audit and take corrective actions to address deficiencies
  • Ensure product is properly palletized
  • Put finished product traceability tags on every pallet of finished product
  • Cool finished product to 33-36 degrees Fahrenheit and document the cooling procedure

STORAGE & SHIPPING

  • Store product in cold room; product must be maintained at a temperature as close as possible to 34 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Make sure storage facility is maintained clean and has a pest control program
  • Ensure trucks are clean prior to loading and that truck has been properly cooled to 36 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Remove one finished product traceability tag from each pallet and attach to pick sheet, which is maintained with the BOL
  • Load truck and ship

Unique to the Produce Industry is our Online Access to Raw Product Test Results and Food Safety Documentation for Fresh-cut Lettuce and Romaine products:
Church Brothers and True Leaf Farms believe it is our responsibility to be transparent to our customers regarding our food safety efforts. That is why we are one of the first companies to offer Online Access to “Raw Product Test Results and Food Safety Documentation”. By implementing this program we make all test results of our Lettuce and Romaine used in our Fresh-cut Program readily available to our customers through a simple online log in.  Through this site, you can access information regarding field tests, sample lots and product tests.  The results are right there, just as we see them from the lab.

With the diligence of Church Brothers and True Leaf, one can be assured that heightened Food Safety awareness and constantly evolving quality and safety programs, are issues met and implemented daily.  It is our priority to keep abreast of the latest developments in the produce industry regarding food safety, and how to best take a proactive approach in ensuring the safety of our products.