Clothing and footwear on a multi-commmodity farm
Consider this scenario:
Common food safety risks for this scenario:
The biological risk on this type of operation is cross-contamination of pathogens on manure-covered or exposed clothing and footwear from the beef housing area to the areas where ready-to-eat vegetables are produced, handled and stored. If you have seasonal workers who work on other farms and come into contact first with livestock, poultry, manure or untreated compost and then enter food handling, production or storage areas for ready-to-eat vegetables you also have a biological risk. If clothing and footwear are not changed or cleaned before passing through the vegetable operation or leaving the beef housing areas, cross-contamination could occur.
Clothing and footwear worn by visitors to the farm might also carry unknown pathogens. There is also a risk to animal health if appropriate biosecurity measures are not taken for animal housing areas. This could also impact food safety of products from those animals.
The chemical risk to clothing and footwear may occur when workers applying chemicals such as pesticides pick up residues on their clothing and then handle ready-to-eat products. Clothing worn by visitors to the farm might also carry unknown residues. If people wearing these clothes handle food, cross-contamination could occur. This could push residue levels over the allowed limits.
How good agricultural practices can help
To reduce the risk of cross-contamination from pathogens and chemical residues, farms need to adopt good agricultural practices with respect to clothing and footwear.
If you have workers on your operation that work between the beef housing areas and the ready-to-eat vegetable production, handling or storage areas during the course of the day, or employ seasonal or part-time workers that work on other farms before coming onto your operation,a biological risk could occur from cross-contamination through pathogens carried on soiled clothing and footwear.
If you have frequent visitors on your operation that have visited other livestock or poultry operation or it is unknown, a biological risk could occur with cross-contamination of pathogens on clothing and footwear.
If you have workers that handle or use chemicals such as pesticides on your operation, a chemical risk may occur if workers spill chemicals on their clothing and then handle food, potentially transferring residues onto food.
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