5 Ways to Prevent Food Waste Due to Recalls

FDA recalls have been decreasing over the past several years, but there are still hundreds each year. The USDA’s list of recalls and public health alerts is long enough to cause concern for nationwide consumer health. And some of the food recall reasons are truly scary. Whenever there’s a recall in the news or a product is destroyed before it even hits grocery store shelves, it means vast amounts of food waste. As a grower, you don’t want to see your hard work go down the drain. But what can you do to ensure you’re not next to join the list? Read on to find out.

How to Reduce Food Waste by Preventing Recalls

As a farmer, you can’t control what happens once the food you grow leaves your control. Stores may not sell quickly enough, leading to spoilage. Consumers may leave fruits and veggies in the fridge or on the counter too long until it goes bad. But there is something you can do to reduce waste. One effective way that is within your control is to prevent your crops from being recalled. But how do you do this?

1 - Control Your Environment

Probably the most effective way to ward off the type of contamination that leads to a recall is to carefully control the environment of your farm. Open-air farms are susceptible to contamination from runoff, animal waste, pests, and pollution. By moving your farm indoors (ideally to a greenhouse), you can closely control who and what has access to your crops. In a hydroponic environment, nearly all contamination sources are eliminated or significantly reduced. 

2 - Fine-Tune Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures

Even after moving your operations indoors, there is still some chance of contamination, especially if you’re not vigilant about cleanliness. Be sure to regularly check and clean each part of your greenhouse, from work surfaces to lighting fixtures and everything in between. If you’re unsure how to get started, our guide, Hydroponic Food Safety 101, will help you implement thorough cleaning procedures.

3 - Schedule Routine Testing

The only way to know if your cleaning procedures are working to keep contaminants out of your greenhouse is to regularly check your produce before it leaves your facility. In addition to a visual inspection for apparent contaminants, make sure you’re doing microbial testing to catch any pathogens that might be present. Testing for listeria, salmonella and E.coli more often means you’ll catch any problems early on and won’t have to waste as much food if a problem arises, so schedule your tests as frequently as you can reasonably manage.

4 - Assess Your Operations Regularly

No matter how perfect your procedures and techniques may be, there is no time for complacency. Be sure to review your entire operation, top to bottom, regularly. You’ll want to look for areas where things could be improved and follow industry news to learn about new techniques and technologies that could benefit your business. Make sure you’re creating a culture of food safety by reviewing procedures with employees routinely as well, so if bad habits begin to creep in, they can be addressed quickly. 

5 - Partner with Eden Green Technology

Preventing recalls isn’t easy. It requires constant vigilance, the highest level of quality control, and the knowledge and technology to keep contaminants out of your plants. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to ensure you’re ahead of the pack regarding food safety. Eden Green Technology offers a turnkey hydroponic greenhouse setup that comes with all of our food safety expertise built right in. Our greenhouses conform to the highest Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards for top-notch sanitation and monitoring procedures. Don’t just take our word for it — take a virtual greenhouse tour to see our R&D greenhouse in action.


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