FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY
At BC Hot House Foods, we are very focused on food safety to ensure that our customers only receive the most wholesome, highest quality greenhouse produce. Our dedicated family of Growers work closely together with trained Quality Assurance personnel to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed industry standards in food safety, produce grading, and consistency. We take care of our vegetables from planting the first seed. to delivery at your local grocery store.
Our achievements include:
ANNUAL FOOD SAFETY AUDITS
Ensuring and protecting food safety is primarily accomplished b following strict policies around Good Agricultural, Handling, and Manufacturing Practices. Each year our farms and packinghouses are audited and scored by an independent third party firm. Key areas that are closely evaluated include water quality, worker hygiene, facility sanitation, premise security, and record keeping/traceability. Our 3rd party auditing firms are Canada GAP and SQF
DAILY QUALITY CHECKS AND SHELF LIFE TESTING
Before every shift, Line Supervisors review and perform comprehensive checklists to ensure our employees are taking the utmost care and diligence when handling produce. Quality Assurance staff carefully inspect each finished lot to verify it meets and exceeds grade standards. Any product not meeting specification will not wear the BC Hot House Gold Label. Shelf life samples are collected from each lot and studied to determine how we can better grow and deliver the freshest produce to our valued customers.
PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND RESIDUE TESTING
All our growers follow an integrated pest management program that rely primarily on biological controls (such as ladybugs and wasps to control plant damaging insects). In fact many growers never apply pesticides at all. Our greenhouse environment gives our vegetable plants protection against many pests that can attack outdoor crops. Our growers’ reliance on biological controls means they are very reluctant to use chemical pesticides. They want to keep good bugs working, rather than disrupt them with chemical pesticides. However there may be occasions when spraying is necessary.
If a pesticide is used, the application is strictly monitored and controlled to ensure safe, proper usage following both PMCA (Canada) and EPA (US) regulatory standards. After a safe, specified pre-harvest interval has elapsed, the new growth fruit is sampled and tested by an independent laboratory for trace pesticide residues, as low as a part per billion. Throughout the season we also conduct random sampling to verify compliance of proper pesticide reporting and usage from all our growers. BC Hot House never markets any produce that may contain pesticide residues.