Food Safety

Food safety and good agricultural practices (GAP) are priority #1 at Black Dog Farms.  Our on-going food safety program is designed to educate our workers on prevention of contaminates.  Once contamination has occurred, removing the pathogen is difficult.  Therefore the prevention of microbial contamination is favored over the treatment to eliminate.  Black Dog Farms recognizes its responsibility as a grower of fresh vegetables to use only those GAPs that minimize the chance of contamination from germination to harvest.

The chance of contamination of our crops at Black Dog Farms is significantly reduced because of our GAPs specific for vegetables and the timing of our growing season  Whenever water comes into contact with fresh produce a potential avenue for pathogen contamination exists.  Black Dog Farms uses overhead irrigation for seed germination only and thereafter drip irrigation.  When crops are ready for harvest we use furrow irrigation because crops irrigated exclusively by sprinklers present a greater risk of pathogen contamination.  Water we use for irrigation is a dynamic or flowing water source opposed to a confined source or well.  Bacterial growth is generally favored by stagnant water and warm temperatures, but our production peaks during the winter and therefore the risk is diminished.  These GAPs are in place to ensure that Black Dog Farmsí products are always free of contaminates.  Though they are more specific to our winter production of vegetables, we still take the same precaution and care for our other crops as well.