Unsurpassed Food Safety

Unsurpassed Food Safety

food-safe-logo-content_0.pngYou take food safety seriously. At Markon, we share this passionate dedication to providing safe fruits and vegetables and we work diligently to meet your high standards. Markon has created measurable metrics to ensure your fresh produce is both delicious and as safe as possible. With Markon, you can be confident because all Markon First Crop, Ready-Set-Serve, and Markon Essentials products meet our comprehensive 5-Star Food Safety® Program requirements.

5-Star Food Safety® Program

5-Star Food Safety® is based on specifications, inspections, and information at five key points: fields, facilities, transportation, distributor warehouses, and your kitchen.

A Day in the Life of a Markon Inspector

Put yourself in our shoes – walk the fields with a Markon inspector and see how only the finest quality is packed into your Markon First Crop and Ready-Set-Serve orders.

Markon inspectors are an invaluable part of what we do here at Markon. Our full-time inspection staff literally walks the fields of our growers six days a week to ensure what you receive is what you expect. They check product quality, size and weight specifications, growing conditions, weather patterns, worker welfare, and overall sanitation. They visit cold rooms to inspect post-harvest storage temperatures, processing plants to review critical-control points, and shipping facilities to oversee loading. They are your eyes and ears, or rather, Boots in the Field®.

Ask a Markon Food Safety Expert

Whether you've been in the industry for one year or thirty, you still need a trusted source for all of your produce questions. That's why Markon is here to answer your questions.

Featured Question

Food Safety Expert Kate Burr of Markon
I’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, which means I must consume a gluten-free diet. How do I know which fresh fruits and vegetables contain gluten? Are there laws requiring food companies to label gluten in their products?

Gluten is a composite found in wheat and related grains like barley and rye. Anyone eating a gluten-free diet must abstain from foods containing or processed with these ingredients.

The good news is that all fresh fruits and vegetables are inherently free of gluten, so you do not need to worry when eating whole, fresh produce. But because gluten-free labeling is only voluntary, you will need to be especially careful when buying or consuming other foods that may contain it. The popularity of the gluten-free diet has prompted many companies to create special products—but unless specified, most breads, pastas, pastries, and cereals are made with grain-based flours.

There has been a lot of talk about avoiding cross-contamination; what exactly is that?

Cross-contamination is the spread of bacteria from one surface to another. It is important to keep your produce separated from raw meats, poultry, or seafood. Juice from uncooked meat or poultry can transfer and contaminate other cooked or non-cooked food items, such as fresh produce. If possible, you should have separate cutting boards and utensils; one for produce and one for meats and poultry. If using the same cutting board and utensils, be sure to wash both thoroughly with soap and warm water to avoid transfer of disease-causing microbes. When switching between preparing raw meat or poultry to produce, be sure to wipe down all kitchen countertops with soap and warm water. Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat or poultry.

I know proper hand washing is essential to prevent cross-contamination in my kitchen. Isn’t it enough to use hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer does not eliminate all types of germs. Proper hand washing is essential to kill bacteria that would otherwise be transferred to your food and cooking surfaces. Here are some basic hand-washing tips to remember:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and clean water before and after food preparation.
  • Rub your hands together to create a lather and scrub vigorously under warm running water for at least 20 seconds (think about the time it takes you to recite the alphabet song twice).
  • Rinse your hands well under running water and dry with a clean towel.