In the wake of recent outbreaks involving leafy greens and possibly linked to agricultural water, Irwindale, California-based Bonduelle Fresh Americas initiated a plan with its growers to ensure the safety of its leafy greens supply through the 2019 California growing season.
“Safety has always been our highest priority and Bonduelle Fresh Americas continues to be committed to delivering the safe, fresh and healthy products our customers and consumers have come to expect from us,” said Bonduelle Fresh Americas CEO Mary Thompson. “Since day one, we have been a part of the initiative to heighten agricultural water standards and truly believe it is critical to do so as soon as possible to protect our leafy greens supply from possible agricultural water contamination.
In preparation for the 2019 California growing season, the Bonduelle Fresh Americas Food Safety Team conducted assessments of all growing fields over the last several months, focusing on water sources, distribution systems, irrigation methods, treatment methods and other aspects of its growers’ agricultural irrigation systems.
With this knowledge, the company established its agricultural water management requirements for its growers, which include:
• Preseason Assessments: Treatment Requirement (Overhead Irrigation): For any open agricultural water systems (such as surface water, water transported by canals or water held in irrigation reservoirs) the company requires growers to treat the water during the last 21 days of the scheduled harvest to reduce the risk of pathogens.
• Other Aerial Applications: For any other aerial applications, such as crop protection chemicals, the company requires growers to either meet the microbial standards of drinking water or treat the water to reduce the risk of potential pathogens of all water sources.
The new water safety plan is effective May 1.
Bonduelle Fresh Americas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bonduelle. With four processing facilities throughout the U.S., the business unit focuses on fresh vegetables, salads and fresh meal solutions for the Americas.