You can help your farm workers keep harvest containers for produce

Getting trained harvest workers to comply consistently with food safety practices can be significantly enhanced by making it easy for them to do so. Here are ways growers can influence harvest workers to keep personal effects out of harvest containers.

Harvest workers can be a produce operation’s greatest asset or its greatest liability from a food safety perspective. Everything they do, no matter how inconsequential, can either reduce or contribute to the safety of the food you grow. One area where you as a grower can help them perform at their best is keeping harvest containers free of personal belongings.

The best way to encourage harvest workers to keep personal belongings out of harvest containers is to provide a place to store them. In packing operations, this can be built onto a wall in the break room. In field situations, this is somewhat more difficult, but not impossible. Often the back of a flatbed can be fabricated into a “portable break area,” incorporating a hand-wash station, drinking water and belonging storage.

If you have specific questions about harvest worker training for food safety or have difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm, contact the Agrifood Safety Work Group at or 517-788-4292. To obtain a guidance document on worker policies, ask for guidance document AFSM011-01.

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