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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I recently had the opportunity to record a public service announcement (PSA) for WDEV. This is part of a series of PSA’s the UVM Extension colleagues contribute to. I decided to focus on ergonomics and shared some lessons from my grandmother and other sources. Click below to listen. The text and additional resources are available […]
I recently visited Chewonki, a school, camp, and farm in Wisscasset, ME that had a recent visit from an ergonomics consultant at their beautiful new pack shed. Some insurance companies offer these visits for free as an injury (and claim) prevention measure. Several things that struck me: They were experimenting with different heights for wash […]
This presentation was given by Chris Callahan from at the Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids Michigan in December 2017. He discusses the differences between fruit and vegetable storage needs, finish surfaces for wash/pack areas or coolers as well as temperature and humidity controls. A frequently asked question we get is about vapor barrier […]
In addition to attending the Great Lakes Expo, UVM Ag Engineering attended the New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference in Manchester, NH. This conference is very well suited for the small-scale and highly diversified farmers that populate the North East. This conference is filled with a variety of vendors at the trade show, presentations covering specific details […]
In December, UVM Ag Engineering ventured out to Grand Rapids, MI to attend the Great Lakes Expo. This exposition was HUGE and full of a variety of seed companies, equipment suppliers, and machinery on display. There was a lot of technology targeted towards fruit growing which is big in that region which was neat to […]