The ECGA™ requires Global Food Safety Initiative bench-marked audits as the baseline for food safety audit standards. Utilizing the Commodity Specific Guidelines for the Production, Harvest and Post Harvest Handling of Cantaloupes created by the National Cantaloupe Guidance as the base food safety guidance, ECGA™ amended and added food safety protocols and metrics specific to Eastern cantaloupe production listed below under a ECGA Rider to the GFSI audit. The rider will include the following items which are ‘over and above’ the National Guidance document:
- Require environmental testing for listeria and salmonella.
- Prohibit the use of porous materials such as carpet or wood in field trailers, harvest wagons, deceleration pads, or on any equipment that could come in contact with the fruit.
- Require testing of all water sources, including field irrigation, prior to use in production and harvesting and monthly testing thereafter until harvest is completed.
- Require a two year waiting period to plant cantaloupe in any field in which non-composted manure is applied.
- Establish a matrix in the event of flooding where pathogen contamination is possible.
- Prohibit the reuse of product containers made of corrugated or other porous materials due to risk of cross-contamination.
- Require harvest tools to be stored in appropriate containers with sanitizing solution when not in use.
- Prohibit un-audited harvest crews from having access to any cantaloupe field.
The ECGA food safety standards include cantaloupe specific GAPs, GMPs, and BMPs for production, harvest, packing and handling. All ECGA ‘Certified Growers’ will also be subject to an unannounced audit’ during the production and harvesting season.
Click on the button below to view or download the matrix. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ECGA Executive Director, Charles Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.