Food Safety


Commitment to Food Safety

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Datepac, LLC facilities operate under USDA, FDA, Arizona State regulations and a Quality System Program based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines. All aspects of the packing process are monitored and audited by outside agencies. Procedures are in place to ensure safety at every step of the process, affecting every aspect of the operation which describes our commitment to

  • Building trust by offering products and services that match consumer expectation and preference
  • Comply with all internal and external food safety, regulatory and quality requirements
  • Make quality a group-wide objective

Food safety is not a management initiative or a separate program at Datepac-it's a way of life.

  • From the executive team down to the front lines, every employee at Datepac actively participates in maintaining and verifying the food safety program, which has earned the company accreditation of its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
  • "At Datepac, every employee in the plant is considered a food safety inspector because we believe if you educate everyone, you will always have consistent safety and quality."

Quality Assurance

The quality of our fruit is maintained not only through our strict processes but also through our policies and procedures which encompass guidelines that must be followed by every single person who comes into contact with our fresh product. Our packaging operation is audited and certified by an independent third party. The audit assesses all aspects of Food Safety, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Cleaning & Sanitation Processes, Maintenance, Employee Training, Pest Control Programs, Product Traceability and Recall, etc. This certification assures buyers and consumers that the product packed in our facilities has been handled in a food-safe manner and verified by independent certification bodies to prove conformity to internal standards, laws and regulatory requirements.

Organic Integrity

Datepac is committed in maintaining the Organic integrity of our products.

Once the organic product is received, it is separated and labeled using a color code to ensure their integrity through all stages of the process.

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Controlling Allergens, Chemicals and Foreign Materials

Allergen Control Program

The program includes processes for assessing and segregating allergens to avoid cross-contamination. Once the allergens are identified, they are labeled and stored in separate and specific areas of the freezer. Products containing allergens are run at the end of the shift. After an allergen has been used in the processing areas, the processing equipment is fully cleaned and sanitized, rapid allergen tests are conducted to assure no allergen residue remains and to eliminate any potential for cross-contamination.

Chemical Control Program

The chemicals used at Datepac are approved by CCOF and includes a series of rules dictating which chemicals can be used, by whom and at which times. All chemicals are segregated in a locked storage room and no pest control chemicals are stored within the facility. Datepac outsources Pest Control services (Non-pesticide) for East and West Locations

Metal Detector

Datepac runs a metal detector program that requires every product to run through one of its metal detectors before shipping. The machines are monitored each thirty minutes by a quality assurance inspector. They also are checked when product lines are changed over and at the star and the end of the shift.

Product Traceability and Recall

Food safety is central to all of our systems. Our IT systems and comprehensive quality programs provide specific tracking data that include detailed plans outlining procedures in the event of a recall. Those plans also include guidelines for communications with regulatory agencies, customers, and the public, and within our own company as well. We routinely test those plans through mock trace-back exercises.

Current Certification Programs

  • PrimusGFS
  • 2.1
  • CCOF
  • IFANCA
  • Halal
  • Kosher

Quality Assurance In Our Fields

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The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association is deeply committed to creating and maintaining the highest growing, handling, storing, and packaging standards and practices in the industry. Our efforts are led by our highly qualified and experienced Compliance and Standards Director and Manager.

Andrew J. Costanza
Compliance and Standards Director

Mr. Costanza has been working in the produce business for over 30 years. He was born in Castro Valley, California, but spent most of his childhood in Italy, where his father worked as Director of Del Monte Corp. After Del Monte transferred the family to Mexico, Mr. Costanza continued his education there and received his Bachelors degree in Business from the Universidad de Americas. Settling in the area, Mr. Costanza and his wife produced vegetables under contract for Del Monte for the next 10 years. From there he moved into management of a large vegetable farming operation, and over the next 15 years managed several large farms in both Mexico and the United States.

Edgar A. Galaviz
Compliance and Standards Manager

Agriculture has always been a major aspect of Mr. Galaviz's life. At an early age, he was given the opportunity to work for a grower in Yuma, Arizona and found his niche in resource and personnel management. To hone his skills, Mr. Galaviz attended numerous training seminars during his employment at one of Arizona's largest labor contractor companies.

Over the last 10 years Mr. Galaviz's has built upon his agriculture safety and compliance experiencing working for labor contractors in agriculture around the Yuma, Arizona area, and in the California counties of Monterey, San Joaquin and Santa Barbara, California. Key to his success was the relationships built with local, state and federal government agencies that oversee agricultural and employment rules and regulations such as the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Agriculture and OSHA. Working for and around people who are passionate about agriculture and labor management helped Mr. Galaviz refine his motto:

To create and maintain a safe work environment that motivates all business partners to produce high-quality-safe products that meet the high demands of the industry.

Certificates

All of our growers implements a rigorous food safety program on their farms, which includes compliance with the established Good Agricultural Practice guidelines from the USDA.

For more information on specific certificates, please contact customerservice@datepac.com.