Since we contribute to the supermarket food supply, juice basin remains open while many citizens continue to exist indoors, doing their part to flatten the virus curve that causes COVID-19. The SOP’s (sanitary operating procedures) of FDA compliance is critical in order to control contamination and hazardous pathogens in juice bottling. It took us about two years to make the physical changes in our facility necessary to create a sanitary zone within the core of our retail business.
The HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) plan specific to juice manufacturing requires higher education certification. Once awarded, a Microbiological study of the recipes based on the highest recorded Ph juice is conducted by a certified lab which monitors pathogen growth weekly over a sustained period of time. Upon receiving the Microbiological study, a working process that correlates manufacturing workflow is implemented. All steps and raw goods must be traceable by lot number.
A sampling of SOP steps are:
hourly temperature record keeping on all refrigeration units
individual recipes mixture Ph monitoring
facility sanitary reporting
flow charts of raw material: sorting, culling, cleaning, refrigeration, mixing, bottling, storage.
transportation record keeping: refrigeration transportation to HPP and transportation back to the facility. Unloading and sorting into facility refrigeration.
These details must be acquired through trial and error. Over a period of time the FDA will inspect the SOP process, review the HACCP plan in action and quiz staff on working knowledge of plan specifics. Once approved, all processes in the manufacturing must be well documented and retained by work order number.
Why should this be relevant to the consumer? The effects of this virus are ghastly. A detriment to our families’ daily lives. All citizens, businesses and the economy have been forced into submission and isolation. This is an opportunity for all global contributors to check in on personal choices and mindless consumption resulting in harmful outcomes. Let us pause during this difficult time and consider, “What if”? What if we bought less and consider educating ourselves on the process of our food supply. Making choices for the better of mankind, the planet and our little ones tethered to inherit this mess. Consider less, not excess.