The Agency has always taken a farm-to-fork approach to food safety so I was interested to see the approaches taken at two farms I visited yesterday with my colleague David Statham, Director of Enforcement.
In the morning we were shown around a Vitacress, a Hampshire farm producing and packaging fresh baby leaf salads for major retailers. As consumers, we take for granted the fact that we can purchase ready-to-eat salads throughout the year, but we can only do this with confidence because of stringent hygiene controls at all stages of the process, from selection of seeds to careful management of water and soil.
In the afternoon we visited Farley farms, a dairy farm near Reading that produces milk for a major retailer. Athough we visited very different sectors, two strong themes emerged: get the hygiene processes right from the start and ensure that there is traceability right through the food