We keep up to date and compliant with all CDC and Governor Dewine's guidelines and recommendations, and do everything possible to keep producing safe, healthy food for the Columbus area during this crisis
We are keeping staffing to a minimum to ensure adequate social distancing, with no visitors allowed on site. All employees are required to wear masks in addition to social distancing while working, on top of their already stringent and frequent handwashing requirements. We do an extra round of surface sanitization every day (on top of the extensive daily food contact surface sanitization protocols). Before even entering the facility each day, all employees are required to document their temperature, wash hands thoroughly, and report any health symptoms of theirs or their housemates/pods. Thankfully, we have all stayed healthy through this and have been able to keep providing Columbus residents food!! If you have any questions or suggestions please do contact us
We continually strive to engage in the most rigorous industry standards of food safety for sprouts, with over 25 years history of voluntarily maintaining a (quite expensive) pathogen testing program for all sprouts produced well before it was (finally!) legally required. We conduct regular environmental (listeria and ATP) testing as well as testing the "spent irrigation water" for every batch of sprouts, which is the most likely place to find pathogens. We test each batch for both salmonella and for STEC (testing a wide array of pathogenic e.coli species, including and beyond the required 0157:H7). We spend large amounts of time on our food safety program and protocols, consistently earning perfect or near-perfect reports on FDA, ODA, and 3rd party HACCP food safety inspections. The cost of all this is more than worth knowing we are doing everything we can to keep our customers safe, and our lack of issuing a single recall in 36 years of business reflects this.
There is an unfortunate media tendency for sensational, overly-generalized fearmongering when it comes to food safety. We go through phases when all of a sudden lettuce, spinach, beef, sprouts, or cantelope are not safe to eat, anywhere anytime, until the news stories fade and people go back to eating them. Almost always, the contamination is related to unsafe farming or food processing methods.
Unfortunately there are (fewer and fewer!) irresponsible sprout growers that cut corners and "do things the old way", skimping on things like sanitizing steps, proper pathogen testing protocols, and hold-and-release programs. Thankfully, food safety regulations and enforcement are catching up to these problem growers, and retailers and wholesalers are requiring even more rigorous 3rd-party inspections and standards. We purchase only top quality, pathogen tested sprouting seed from several suppliers we have been working with for decades. Furthermore, while still continuing to use scientifically-backed seed sanitation methods for all seeds, we are excited to now be using primarily Neopure-treated seeds for our green leaf sprouts, including all alfalfa, broccoli, and clover, which is the first FDA-approved pretreated seed ever available, a true industry breakthrough.
People have been safely eating sprouts for centuries, and the food safety technology has only increased...it is up to farmers and distributors to value food safety over laziness and maximizing profits, and we are proud to be in this majority.
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