Keeping Food Safe

By Greg Stiles
Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Getting into business as a food entrepreneur sounds fun right? What could be better than baking, mixing, cooking and then sharing your delicious creations with the world?  As women in business who have spent time in the food business will tell you, there are also a whole lot of headaches involved; specifically surrounding regulations and certifications.  You can do it, just make sure you are aware of the many of the rules, regulations and tests required.

Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

Food safety issues from allergens to contaminants have revolutionized the way producers and processors run their businesses.
For Rising Sun Farms, it means codifying and documenting the direction it has been heading for years.

Before the local food manufacturer’s organic cheese tortas, party tortas, pestos and DipnSpreads are distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada, they undergo multiple tests and analyses that are documented for future inspection. Ingredients from 150 suppliers are checked and re-checked before and after arriving in the Rogue Valley as part of the Safe Quality Food certification process recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Diligent attention to potential risks involves commitment of resources by producers and manufacturers that eventually equate to higher prices at checkout counters.

“There is an enormous amount of verification and process documentation,” said Rising Sun Farms founder Elizabeth Fujas, whose firm holds Level 3 certification, the highest standard.

Rising Sun has two staff members — a production quality manager and an SQF practitioner — assigned to record findings and vet suppliers.

“We have to do a certificate of analysis with every shipment that the product has been lab tested for yeast, mold and all kinds of bacteria,” Fujas said. “It’s expensive, but it’s a very good process.”

Rising Sun Farms has about 125 suppliers, including 20 from Oregon and five in Jackson County. Certification standards have modestly thinned the ranks of suppliers, some who didn’t want to deal with the extra costs, she said.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *