By: Rob Larose, CEO & President of BioSafe Systems
“The best defense is a good offense“ goes the old adage. This strategy has been used in war, business, and in sporting competitions.
A modern social movement such as the “Green movement” started in the early 1800s and it celebrated the “natural world”. The forests were demolished when the Industrial Revolution began, and timber and coal were important for energy. Managing natural resources became important when humans realized they were destroying the irreplaceable wilderness. In the 20th century, nuclear fallouts and air pollution caused many industries to be alarmed.
It is time now to employ this same strategy in agricultural food safety and harvest practices today. With modern society movements from localized agriculture to modern day farming operations, we must assume that we’ll always be under potential risk by human pathogens which may infect our food chain.
A human pathogen can cause illness in humans and is comprised of microorganisms which exist in nature, including specific strains of bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli, and viruses such as Cryptosporidium. These microorganisms can be introduced through a wide variety of methods such as insects, birds, and animal feces.
Recently, the produce industry was introduced to something that was unprecedented. Just before the 2018 Thanksgiving Holiday, the USDS/FDA stated that Federal health officials were warning about a new outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce and cautioned people to not eat any of the possibly infected produce. ALL Romaine lettuce was not to be eaten or sold regardless of its place of origin. This was not a recall but a flat-out statement not to eat romaine lettuce, regardless of where you thought it was grown.
This one event created a monumental effect, not only for people who grow and sell romaine lettuce, but also all leafy green vegetables and produce considered “ready-to-eat.”
A great deal of effort has been spent on creating systems that provide traceability to where produce is grown so that when there is an event triggering a recall, the damage can be limited to a specific geography. However, with the recent romaine shutdown by not only the USDA but also by the Canadian Federal government, it was a whole new ball game.
BioSafe Systems is in the business of providing effective and sustainable food safety and intervention solutions for the agriculture and produce industry. BioSafe develops these products that have proper labels for agriculture, have sound science backing their label claims and are easy to use with minimal restrictions.
We operate under the assumption that until mankind can develop technology able to identify human pathogens in real time like the scanner that Doctor McCoy used in Star Trek, then one must assume that ALL crops are potentially contaminated.
BioSafe’s products are based on the use of peroxyacetic acid technology that has been well studied and is an effective alternative to chlorinated products. These products have been approved for use for organically certified farming operations, FDA, and Kosher food processing applications. Applications include the following:
- Agricultural irrigation treatment products
- Agricultural pond treatment products
- Pre-Harvest crop protection
- Post-Harvest intervention products
BioSafe Systems also provides applications, dosing and monitoring systems that may be used along with our products to provide and maintain compliance with all FSMA and third-party Food Safety certifications. These include:
- Smart Spray Bay Systems – These systems may be used in field harvesting and in post-harvest processing applications to apply, record, monitor, and provide reports on treatment interventions. These systems may be mounted on mechanical harvesters to bring highly engineered and effective food safety treatments into the field.
- BioBuster Systems are designed for all multi-line packing and processing operations that require a high degree of chemical utilization, monitoring, and reporting. The proprietary cloud-based reporting system provides real-time reporting and compliance features.
- OxyFusion: a proprietary technology that provides and produces peroxyacetic acid on-site and on-demand in varying pH ranges. This provides a unique solution for food processing applications with reduced corrosivity and low-odor.
There is no silver bullet approach to food safety, and it requires a full and ongoing effort that is always offensive and never defensive.