The main purpose of pre-operational inspections in a farming company is to determine if the necessary measures are taken, in order to minimize the risks that certain physical, biological or chemical hazards get to the product, and/or to seek the identification of all those unsafe conditions and acts for the company, as well as the behavior of personnel which may be at risk.
In other words, the significance of inspections lies in the fact that they allow the identification and analysis of such risks, situations and unusual acts which may pollute the product and/or alter the regular performance of the operation’s activity, whether by process interruption, materials become impaired, damage to the health of both consumers and workers or even because they may impact the environment negatively.
Thereupon, as it is obvious, the higher the number of risky and unsafe situations in the operation of the company, the higher the likeability of pollution risks in the product, and/or having an accident.
For this reason, the application of inspections in a systematic way can be a high-value tool at a prevention level, as it contributes in providing sufficient and accurate information to establish work plans, in order to minimize risks, whether from food safety (product pollution) and/or security (accidents/machinery and equipment impairment).
Some considerations to take into account during pre-operational inspections are as follows:
Pre-operational inspections should be carried out after cleaning and sanitation operations and before operation, in order to ensure that production and/or packaging areas, surfaces in contact with products, equipments, bathrooms for personnel and bathroom facilities and other essential areas are clean, pollution-free and in good condition.
The main food safety certification schemes, as well as domestic and foreign regulatory entities (for example, SENASICA and the FDA), consider this review to be within their compliance criteria, as an essential item to reduce pollution risks. This is why Eleven Rivers Growers has chosen to include this review within its own internal audit lists, in order to perform frequent evaluations in the field and packaging operations of companies which are members of the Veggies From Mexico community.