Keeping Food Safety Paramount in Leafy Greens

Dinesh Babu, Revol Greens

Dinesh Babu, Revol Greens

Minnesota-based leafy greens producer Revol Greens‘ Vice President of Food Safety Dinesh Babu brings a Ph.D. in meals security and greater than 15 years in meals science and meals security expertise. His position? To navigate manufacturing distribution in a meals provide chain fraught with continued challenges and retailers’ requires a safer and extra constant supply of leafy greens.

“Food security has at all times been and continues to be paramount to what we do,” says Michael Wainscott, Revol Greens CEO. “It’s essential that we proceed to speculate in that facet of our enterprise. With deep roots in the produce trade and in academia along with his Ph.D., we’re thrilled Dinesh is approaching board.”

In his position, Babu leads, directs, and guides the natural, meals security, and sanitation applications, making certain compliance with all related operational, audit, and certification necessities.

Dinesh joins Revol Greens from Grimmway Farms, the place he served because the Vice President of Food Safety, overseeing a number of amenities, creating and directing groups to keep up meals security compliance, sanitation, regulatory readiness, and buyer audits. He was additionally an government at Del Monte Fresh Produce, overseeing a big crew throughout six amenities, targeted on coaching, audits, and college analysis. Ocean Spray, Mann Packing, and Earthbound Farms spherical out his lengthy record of experience in the trade. Before shifting to this trade, he served as college on the University of Louisiana educating and conducting analysis in meals security.

Challenges Are Universal

Babu’s earlier expertise largely entails working with out of doors producers, however he says the challenges confronted are largely related.

The advantage of indoor manufacturing is that there’s a lot much less publicity to those pathogens as a result of there are fewer palms touching the product. However, Babu says this doesn’t imply that meals security ought to take a again seat to different challenges.

“Food security is a vital operate for everybody who performs a task in the meals trade to make sure numerous manufacturing processes observe good manufacturing practices, regulatory necessities, audit requirements, and buyer specs,” Babu says. “We are particularly targeted on this inside the recent produce trade when dealing with leafy greens, the place having a devoted meals security skilled is a should.”

It’s essential for all growers, regardless of the place or how they develop, to speculate sources in labor, instruments to efficiently handle and preserve complete meals security administration techniques with sooner traceability, and the power to answer numerous wants from prospects, regulatory our bodies, and audit requirements, Babu says.

“Risks can come by means of rising, harvesting, and dealing with practices, and totally different producers who observe totally different manufacturing practices and particular dangers should be understood on case-by-case foundation,” Babu says. “CEA manufacturing can provide a number of advantages to recent produce trade in phrases of high-quality meals security measures. By rising in a protected surroundings and controlling inputs, CEA manufacturing can enormously cut back or eradicate bodily and microbial hazards historically discovered in out of doors subject manufacturing.”

Managing Recalls

As greenhouse lettuce growers know all too nicely, a product recall at any degree of the availability chain can have an effect on all producers, no matter whether or not they develop indoors or outside.

“When a recall occurs, we as an trade must make it instantly clear that our product was not affected, and regulators must shortly acknowledge that as nicely,” Babu says. “Unfortunately, it normally takes days or even weeks for a security difficulty to be resolved, and by that point, shoppers have already made up their minds.”

Traceability is a instrument that may assist mitigate this downside, Babu says.

“There are numerous choices on the market that may assist hint your product again to the actual location the place you’re rising it,” Babu says. “This can assist rule out doubtlessly problematic sources, whether or not it’s water or how the seed was handled.”

That type of traceability, which might present a security hyperlink from planting to consumption, is invaluable, Babu says. That’s why it’s an essential useful resource for growers like Revol Greens.

“Revol Greens brings trendy expertise to farming to supply the freshest merchandise,” Babu says. “Our greenhouses create an surroundings that’s protected and protected for meals manufacturing, in addition to offering constant provide no matter points comparable to harsh climate.”

Working Across the Industry

One of Dinesh Babu’s tasks in his new position as Vice President of Food Safety at Revol Greens is working with the CEA Food Safety Coalition, which was established to develop credible, robust, and applicable meals security requirements; educate shoppers and regulators on managed surroundings rising; and talk the worth of controlled-environment agriculture.

“As a founding member of the CEA Food Safety Coalition, Revol Greens shares the imaginative and prescient of different members that meals security is paramount to the success of the CEA trade and that we should always all maintain ourselves to the next commonplace of security,” Babu says. “The Coalition brings a unified voice to meals security, permitting us to collaborate with different trade leaders, retail prospects, and suppliers to lift the bar on meals security in leafy greens. I’m excited to get extra concerned sharing my expertise and data to assist advance the Coalition even additional.”

Learn extra concerning the CEA Food Safety Coalition in a collection on GreenhouseGrower.com.


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