Today’s consumer knows the importance of having clean, sanitary produce. Ongoing problems with recalls involving fresh produce have grown the community’s awareness of the risks of foods, including fresh produce products. As such, they are looking for food safety solutions that will protect them from these risks. If you are in the food service or retail industry, you need fresh solutions for produce that will deliver quality, safe food to your customers. Yet not all produce washes are created equal. If you are looking for an antimicrobial wash for produce, here are some qualities to consider.
1. Antimicrobial Capabilities
First, look at the antimicrobial capabilities of the product, and make sure it cleans the most common pathogens related to produce. These include:
The label will indicate the pathogens it kills and its effectiveness. In addition, check if the product kills surface pathogens or pathogens in the wash and rinse water. Both are effective options, but you may prefer one over the other.
2. Federal Recognition
Next, look for a product approved by the EPA and the FDA. The EPA will register produce washes, and the FDA will send an FDA Notification Letter if the product is an approved Food Contact Substance. You want to find a product that has both of these.
3. Ease of Use
Make sure that the produce wash is easy to use. This is particularly important if you’re buying one for commercial applications. You need it to be something your employees can add to their washing regimen with ease. If the product is so strong that it requires gloves or other protective equipment, chances are the employees won’t use it properly. In addition, look for a product you can add to an automatic sink dispenser, which ensures that your team uses the right amount to effectively clean your produce.
4. When It Can Be Used
Sometimes, antimicrobial wash for produce has limited uses. For example, it may be used for cutting whole fruits and vegetables, but not cut. It may be used for washing but not crisping. This can complicate the process. Instead, look for fresh produce solutions that are approved for all uses, including cutting, peeling, crisping, rehydrating, and washing both whole or cut produce. This will make it easier to implement the cleaning product into your food prep routine.
The Bottom Line: Find a Product That Works and Is Easy to Implement
As you look to produce washes and floral preservative products, the key is to choose something that works well and is easy to implement. Your employees are busy, and they don’t need another safety protocol to have to remember, but your customers demand fresh, safe products. With an efficient, safe, approved, and easy-to-use product, you can meet both of these demands and ensure the products you sell exceed your customer's expectations while making your employee’s jobs easier.