Food Safety Audits
Riveridge has been a pioneer in food safety, and we continue to strengthen our practices including adopting new technology and more in-depth third-party auditing. In the early 1990s we adopted strict self-auditing practices before most apple handlers were embracing the concept. Soon after, we implemented USDA good handling practices that formalized many of the practices we were already doing. We wanted a formal scorecard on whether we were getting the job done.
Packing House Inspections
Today, we’re proud of the fact that independent audits by Primus Labs certify all seven Riveridge packing houses with an “excellent” food safety rating every year. Some other highlights of our food safety regimen include:
- All seven Riveridge packing facilities are certified in USDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) annually.
- Each of our packing facilities also do customer “Code of Conduct” audits annually.
- Several months a year, we have government inspectors in our packing houses on a daily basis. In 2014 for the first time, all our packing partners will become Primus GFS certified in both their orchards and their packing facilities – which raises the bar even higher.
We’re especially proud that all 117 of our growers have become certified in Good Agricultural Practices. GAP inspections are performed by the US Department of Agriculture during a half-day visit every year during harvest. If a grower has multiple orchard locations, the inspector will visit them all – with a checklist of dozens of guidelines that must be properly followed in the orchard. Worker health and hygiene, proper documentation of crop inputs and weather conditions, protection from animals and many other items are part of the GAP inspections. Harvesters may not even snack in the orchard while picking fruit, according to one requirement. GAP inspections are required to sell US apples and apple by-products to the federal government, including the school lunch program. Riveridge is able to fulfill contracts for all types of government purchases.
Caramel Apple and Cider Inspections
Riveridge guarantees the wholesomeness of its caramel apples, pasteurized cider and, at times, fresh-cut apple slices.
- Caramel apples are AIB and Kosher audited.
- Fresh cider and fresh-cut apple slices are AIB audited and screened by in-house technicians. We put ourselves through all of these best practices in order to safeguard your reputation, our impeccable record and to protect your customers’ health. Audits by outside parties prove we’re getting the job done.