This is a guide to understanding the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. It is focused on produce farms and is motivated by current concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated 3/18/2020 The current COVID-19 pandemic is a common concern and many are wondering what they can and should do. The information here is intended to help guide the fruit and vegetable farming community. If you have concerns or additional suggestions please contact the UVM Extension Produce Safety Team (firstname.lastname@example.org / (802) 257-7967) or the […]
By Chris Callahan, Hans Estrin, and Andy Chamberlin Summary Efficiency and food safety are integral parts of running a profitable and viable farm, producing high-quality produce, and retaining valuable employees. This integration should start with a vision in the planning stage of all postharvest projects.
I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop at the 2019 NOFA-MA Summer Conference about Ventilation in Greenhouses and High Tunnels. It provided an opportunity to collect information from various sources, ground truth observations with growers, and to revisit some fundamentals. The big takeaway, for me, is that there are many, many ways to ventilate […]
Hygienic design intentionally creates or improves spaces and equipment so they can be cleaned and sanitized as appropriate. This post, associated PDF guide and checklist (PDF and Excel, instructions) are tools we developed to help apply hygienic and sanitary design practice on produce farms. These tools cover the five key principles of hygienic design for […]
The intentional, directional, and reliable flow of water is important to ensure agricultural water is “safe and of adequate sanitary quality”. This post provides information on the importance of backflow prevention and some common practices that help mitigate the risk of backflow. You can also view presentation slides and a recorded webinar on this topic […]
Last Fall we surveyed growers in the region about postharvest topics in preparation for a USDA NE SARE proposal. That proposal has been funded! Growers who responded assigned a high level of importance to aggregated postharvest knowledge (4.5/5.0, n=56) while indicating poor availability of the information (3.3/5.0, n=57). Several ideas for research topics were provided […]
We’ve received a number of inquiries about building germination chambers so we have decided to provide some consolidated resources and guidance. An important first step is to consider what the purpose of the chamber actually is. There are a number of horticultural practices that benefit from dedicated, environmentally controlled spaces. These include germination, starting, propagation/transplanting, […]
There are many options when it comes to constructing a walk-in cooler, cold room, or warm room for on-farm storage. The main goals for construction of any temperature and humidity controlled space are: Insulate the walls to provide for efficiency temperature control against a different outside temperature (which may be an warmer inside space) Seal […]
Chris recently served as a technical advisor to Rose Marie Belforti on her recent NE-SARE funded project to demonstrate a hydraulic press used to make fuel briquettes from manure and bedding. The machine, dubbed the “Biomass Beast” by Rose, was built for $5,766 and Rose demonstrated production of briquettes at a rate of 90 dry […]