Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
Preventing glass contamination on the farm


September 11, 2012
By Phil Tocco Michigan State University Extension

Topics

September 11, 2012 – Any glass that enters the field, no matter what condition it is in, has a potential to break and contaminate produce. Think for a minute about the potential sources of glass contamination that exist from the time produce is harvested, washed, packed and transported to market. Is there a potential for glass contamination?

Mirrors and headlights on tractors – These can pose in-field hazards if they are broken. To minimize this, use clear packing tape to cover the glass and render them shatterproof.

Lights above wash and pack lines – If lights burst, glass shards could rain down into produce. Cover light fixtures above pack lines and any that may be over the path that food travels through washing, packing and storage. If covering individual fixtures is not possible, Teflon covered lights are available that are shatterproof.

Advertisment

Glass jars, jugs or eating implements – Neighbours or farm workers can inadvertently introduce glass objects that can break and contaminate food. A strict, no glass policy for farm workers with consequences if workers are noncompliant can help to minimize glass introduced in that manner. Placing a barrier between neighbours who may introduce glass into the field or posting no trespassing signs can reduce traffic into a field and subsequent potential hazards due to glass.