UPDATE: Salinas Valley Value-Added Quality
June 22, 2015
Quality and shelf-life performance issues in Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) products have been seen over the past several weeks. Suppliers of Markon’s RSS salad blends, shredded lettuces, and tender leaf items have evaluated processing procedures and developed an improvement plan that was implemented on June 19.
Concerns about the following items and the related improvement plans are as follows:
Salad Blends and Shreds
- Pinking at cut ends in finished product continues to be a challenge toward the end of shelf-life dates
- After thorough research it has been determined that the Oxygen Transmission Rate of the film being used is out of balance with the rate in which the product is respiring
- Improvements to the film and adjustments to drying time were made to minimize pinking
Spring Mix and Spinach
- Mildew caused by humid, overcast growing conditions is shortening shelf-life and causing early breakdown in finished packs of spring mix
- Increased mechanical damage and inconsistent size are concerns detracting from overall quality
- The rapid summer growth cycle (27 to 28 days from seed to harvest) is causing brittle texture and mechanical damage
- Suppliers have increased evaluations at the harvesting and receiving points and will narrow specification acceptability limits prior to processing
Raw product quality will improve this week. Markon inspectors will continue to monitor pack-outs and work with suppliers’ Quality Assurance staff to make any other adjustments needed.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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