( )

When Escondido, Calif.-based Henry Avocado opened its new packing and distribution center in 2018, food safety was top of mind.

“Our goal is to always be an industry leader in food safety,” said president Phil Henry. 

To that end, the 95-year-old company has introduced myriad safety measures that exceed industry standards, Henry said.

The company implemented an upgraded sanitation program with the help of Atascadero, Calif.-based Factor IV Solutions, a food facility sanitation consulting firm.

The program involved removing hard-to-clean components from its packing line, using cleaning tools like a dry vapor steam machine, foamers and floor scrubbers every night.

The cleaning crew has adopted Full Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures that include an annual deep-cleaning, and steps have been taken to prevent cross contamination of equipment, he said.

The system is continually subjected to third-party verification.

The company also has added Oxyion antiviral and antimicrobial technology that eliminates up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli, Henry said.

The onset of the coronavirus prompted even more preventive measures, including keeping visitors out of the processing areas and requiring employees to wear masks and have their temperatures taken prior to each shift.

Social distancing protocols are followed as well.

All of Henry’s distribution centers are Primus Labs-certified and meet or exceed the federal, state and Industry Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines, Henry said.


Related Content:

Avocados to walnuts: industry's response to pandemic

Demand keeps climbing for organic avocados

California avocado crop rebounds