- Malheur Experiment Station
Food safety and quality assurance are some of the biggest factors in effective food marketing and are subject to changing standards. As consumers become more aware of the foods they eat and the demand for food quality increases, so does the necessity for safer food production. Observing food safety practices at the frontlines of food production demonstrate economic and environmental sustainability by preventing food spoilage and human sickness. The health and well-being of the American consumer is of top priority.
For safer crops and food supplies, food safety must be observed at all levels of production: planting, irrigating & growing, harvesting, storing, packing, transporting, and marketing. To prevent serious microbial hazards, know sources of water supply to crops, educate workers in proper hygiene and harvesting practices, and follow Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). These regulations and guidelines are established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for safe food production and rules are subject to change over time. These are mandatory requirements that aim to prevent pathogen contamination and adulteration of food. One GMP, a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan, is critical for storage facilities and warehouses. Regular testing, monitoring, and record keeping are necessary to ensure onions and other raw agricultural commodities meet market standards.