Commitment to Food Safety
Serving the country with some of the finest fresh vegetables and fruits for over 25 years, Pure Pacific Organic (Pacific) is one of the food industry’s leading produce suppliers. Offering a complete supply of conventional and organic produce, Pacific is dedicated to providing the best and safest products to their customers. Pacific is committed to regularly reviewing and improving internal and external procedures to ensure they are doing all they can to implement best-in-class food safety procedures. From field testing, to employee training and plant auditing, Pacific takes its food safety and quality program seriously.
As part of that commitment, Pacific has been a testing partner of Mérieux NutriSciences for the past eight years, using the test data to help ensure their customers are getting safe, quality produce each and every time. In May of 2017, Sharan Lanini, Pacific’s Director of Food Safety, took over food safety & quality processing plant responsibilities and decided to make some changes to the way the company managed its environmental monitoring program to enhance the program’s value to the company. She then initiated a review to upgrade the company’s environmental monitoring program to be better aligned with new FDA listeria Guidance and FSMA requirements.
A Digital Solution
“I knew right away that Pure Pacific Organics needed to upgrade our monitoring system. We were trying to align with the FDA listeria requirement for documentation and it was clear we had to make a change to our current processes. I remember at one point, we had a pile of COA’s but no way to make sense of the data,” says Sharan.
Sharan remembered hearing that Mérieux NutriSciences had a digital solution to help with environmental monitoring, and reached out to her technical sales manager to get more information. After two days of onsite implementation and training, EnviroMap®, Mérieux NutriSciences’ automated environmental monitoring solution, was up and running in Sharan’s processing plant.
EnviroMap helps ensure a company’s environmental monitoring program is being followed as prescribed, allowing those utilizing the tool to schedule and manage activities, mitigate out-of-limit results and generate the necessary reports for regular customer activity.
“We customized the tool to perform all our randomized sampling rotations monthly, and every three months it hits all our time frames (1st, 2nd and 3rd shifts). Most importantly, implementing EnviroMap immediately put us in a position where we could be in compliance with FDA rules and quickly access information in a very organized manner,” Sharan says.
Outlook for the Future
Now that Pacific has internalized their program, they no longer need to have a lab come to the plant and pull samples. They have found, with the implementation of this new, automated platform, they are able to save money and time, remove barriers and trend and track all their data to make the company more efficient. “EnviroMap is a great tool...if you’re not using it, I honestly don’t know why. Our ATP swabbing pre-and post-sanitation and listeria tracking are all integrated within the platform. Additionally, we’ve been put in a situation where, if the FDA stops by, we can just turn our computer screens around and show them our EnviroMap dashboard - as it does exactly what the FDA listeria requirement for documentation mandates for compliance,” Sharan reports.
“EnviroMap does a great job managing our environmental monitoring program. With FSMA, we’re trying to be proactive. The more we can automate our processes and migrate to a system where people don’t need to think, but instead let the software do the work for them, the more efficient we will be as a produce supplier. I would highly recommend EnviroMap for your environmental monitoring program if you’re looking to make your entire process seamless and easy to manage,” says Sharan. “Our experience working with the EnviroMap team has been very positive and I am really impressed how user-friendly the system has ended up being.”
As Pacific learns more about EnviroMap and what the system can offer, Sharan expects to see even more savings in the future. But what she’s really focusing on now is the visibility they are able to offer to regulators, leadership and stakeholders. “The scalability of EnviroMap is really awesome. People at all levels in the plant get visibility into our environmental monitoring program via the EnviroMap interface, but also, someone at the top level can look at the dashboard and find the results they need in a matter of moments. We can also report to our board how our food safety program is evolving and give them confidence that the changes we are making are working.”