Healthy Trailer Implements Initiative for Trailer Sanitation in the Supply Chain
- by Lilian Diep
SALINAS, CA - Just as much as the quality of the produce is important, so to is the vehicle transporting it. Healthy Trailer believes in this concept and has been working with Lighthouse Food Quality and Safety to conceptualize a thorough and safe cleaning process for all trailers. That partnership has led to the conclusion of the first phase of a 3rd-party verification of its patent-pending trailer cleaning process.
“If we are going to talk about keeping food safe from Farm to Fork, it is critical to understand what is necessary to keep food safe during the transportation segment of the supply chain,” stated Pam Young, Manager and one of the Founders of Healthy Trailers. “Healthy Trailer's project is a big first step in helping the fresh produce industry appreciate the value of making sure the trailers transporting product are clean.”
Trailer sanitation in the food transport industry hasn’t always taken the spotlight much in food safety, but lately, it has become an increasingly hot topic. Fresh produce suppliers and receivers are beginning to take a serious look at the supply chain, not only because it is the law (FSMA’s Sanitary Transportation Rule), but also because consumers have expectations that their fresh produce is traveling in clean trailers. And honestly, that’s not something I thought would be a concern for me until today.
According to the press release, the purpose of this microbial evaluation in trailer sanitation was two-fold. The first objective was to establish the levels of microbial population. Second was to demonstrate that the Healthy Trailer process did effectively reduce the microbial load. As hoped, the results were positive, both good and bad.
Evaluations have shown that both field trailers (equipment used to transport fresh field product from farm to processing plant) and OTRs (long haul trailers loading fresh produce for deliveries to foodservice, retail, and wholesale businesses) do contain varying levels of microbial population. Test samples were taken from each of these trailers before and after the cleaning process, and the data demonstrates that the Healthy Trailer process does reduce microbial levels. This patent-pending process combines multiple spray bars, forced air drying, and germicidal UV lamps. This critical piece of FSMA compliance adds peace of mind for those who need to know that their fresh produce is transported in a clean trailer.
Seeing as the first phase was a success, what is next for Healthy Trailer? Keep reading ANUK as we cover everything involved in the produce world.