Recent improvements to the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market are helping distributors remain competitive and in compliance with food safety rules.
The market’s manager has also received recognition for her management of the facility.
The Maryland Wholesale Produce Market recently had the original dock canopies replaced.The Maryland Food Center Authority, which owns and operates the Jessup, Md.-based produce market and the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market, recently replaced the produce terminal’s original dock canopies.
The project involved cleaning, sandblasting and repainting the dock canopy structures and roofs of the two market buildings.
The $1.2 million project was being finished in early June and was conducted while wholesalers continued business with the construction only necessitating small operational modifications, said Rose Harrell, the authority’s director of facilities.
In addition to the canopy replacement project, dock doors and door frames were upgraded, she said.
Over the summer, the market plans to upgrade both building’s rear docks through repainting and other work.
As there is less infrastructure in the back of the buildings, the project isn’t expected to be as involved as the main dock areas, Harrell said.
The improvements follow replacement of both buildings’ roofs last year.
During the construction, tenants Edward G. Rahll & Sons Inc., Sudanos Produce LLC, and the Tony Vitrano Co., were undergoing final auditing for Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point and Food Safety Modernization Act certification, Harrell said.
Coosemans D.C. Inc., had earlier completed most of the certifications it needed but because of the imports and other activities, needed additional certification, she said.
“Appearance means a lot and obviously, it’s critical to maintain the structure of the building, get it cleaned and keep it looking good,” Harrell said. “While the tenants are responsible for the interior, this has been some of the big effort projects we’ve been doing. This is all part of our big plan to raise the standards of the market a couple of levels.”
Harrell is responsible for the development and supervision of the authority’s three properties and the agency is designing a truck washing and fuel depot for exclusive use of produce and seafood market tenants.
On a parcel of land behind the seafood market, the authority is also planning to construct a commercial kitchen and a farmers market.
Plans are being developed for the facilities, but Harrell said the 70,000-square-foot kitchen is being designed to host culinary education and promote local foods.