E. Armata Passes Audit for GMP and HACCP Certification with Superior Rating
- by Andrew McDaniel
BRONX, NY – In April of 2013, E. Armata began an extensive renovation project at the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY. Completed by November of that year, the company had gutted the facility and rebuilt it from the ground up.
Last month, the company announced that it had passed the audit for Good Management Practices (GMP) and HACCP certification on its first attempt, boasting an impressive 98.4% Superior rating, corrected to a 100% rating that same day.
“We feel strongly that we need to supply our growers, shippers and customers with a facility that matches the quality of our produce and our high level of service. We believe in the future and our strong reputation, that is now enhanced by our newly rebuilt facility,” said Vice President Paul Armata.
Nick Lomax, Head of Operations for the company, lead the rigorous certification process, which began in January and ended October 2014.
“Not only are we proud of the changes that have been made at E. Armata in the past year, but I agree with Chris [Armata] — we did this because we feel strongly about supplying our growers, shippers and customers with the best quality and safest food possible. We look forward to a future that insures that we always have the highest level of technologies and food safety initiatives,” said Lomax.
From September 2013 through December, the company took courses in food safety, the GMP program and the HACCP program. Between finishing the courses and receiving the certification, E. Armata implemented the changes at the facility. The company followed Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) while putting together instructions for all of its divisions.
“I moved pretty fast because we wanted to obtain our certifications as quickly as possible to coincide with our renovation project,” Lomax added.
He credited the company’s 16 foremen for accomplishing the job in such a short amount of time. They were trained on proper cleaning procedures, employee safety habits and other requirements while working.
Foremen now conduct ongoing spot checks during the day, which are documented. Certification rules also state that the company has to check temperatures on the units twice a day, along with random daily checks. That too is documented.
“Our customers are assured of getting safe food from our shippers to us and to them. Our shippers are required to have third-party Primus audits, which are required by HACCP, and they provide us with a letter of guarantee. This entire process and certification boils down to self-policing and maintaining precise documentation,” said Lomax.
Congratulations on the certification, E. Armata!