Quality control starts in the field and doesn't end until the product is in our consumers’ hands.
Agriculture research is important. A recent investment in information software allows us to enhance agricultural management, track pesticide usage, provide planting details, report point of origin, map GPS locations, and accommodate access of records for certification, auditing, and customer information requests.
The existence of manuals in Quality Control, Thermal Processes, Test Procedures, Grade Specifications, Warehouse, and Safety provide the fundamentals to producing safe, quality food at each of our facilities. The following systems and programs are in place as a foundation to providing the highest quality product possible.
A Food Allergen Program is in place to isolate allergenic or sensitizing ingredients, manufacture products that have allergenic ingredients in such a way to minimize the risk of inadvertent introduction of allergens, and ensure that products with allergenic ingredients are properly labeled.
Heat processing and Hermetic Sealing kills bacteria and prevents any microorganisms from spoiling the fruits and vegetables. A system called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point assures that the canning process is monitored at all stages. Cans are tamper proof containers that protect the contents. HACCP plans are in place for all products produced. Teams review the plans on an annual basis and the plan is reviewed and authorized by our HACCP Coordinator.
Requirements for metal detectors are documented in our Quality Control Manual including calibration requirements, what to do when an alarm sounds, and testing requirements for magnets.
Our Sanitation Program includes a master sanitation schedule and sanitation standard operating procedures. All facilities are audited by BRC on an annual basis.
Our Thermal Processes are approved by our Thermal Process Authority and internal training programs are targeted towards thermal processing.
Microbiological Test Procedures occur at all frozen facilities. Further microbiological analysis is completed on all frozen finished product, sanitary surveys, and environmental surveillance.
Plant Inspections consist of continuous quality control monitoring with on line staff at each processing facility, computerized fill control checks every 30 minutes, visual seam inspections every 30 minutes, seam teardown inspections every 3 hours, and cooker checks every 30 minutes.
Quality Control Audits are conducted to evaluate documents, procedures, processing and training records, equipment functionality while operational, and employee practices. Internal auditing covers QSM, Thermal Processes, Sanitation, and Warehouse. Further audits are completed for USDA, organic, kosher, customer, and GMI requirements.
Grade Specifications documents are available for all products. Statistical Process Control is utilized in attribute grading and fill control with on-line inspections completed to determine product defect levels. Grading evaluations occur every hour and may include vacuum, color, flavor, sugar analysis, salt analysis, and center can temperature.
Product auditing is completed on a weekly basis for all products produced the previous week. Finally, all product is on a mandatory five-day hold and positive release.
Proper Training ensures that all equipment, systems, and procedures are correctly and safely utilized. The subjects that are required to be trained annually include HACCP, GMP's, Thermal Processing, Double Seams, Microbiology, Sanitation, and Chemical Handling.