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Christopher Ranch touts ‘superior’ food-safety rating at expo

At the July 29-31 Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Exposition in Monterey, CA, Christopher Ranch will be touting, among other things, the “superior” food-safety rating it recently earned.

Representing the company at its booth, number 100, at the event will be Justin Guibert, a sales representative at Christopher Ranch’s Gilroy, CA, headquarters; Eric Kraus, sales and management representative from its Vernon, CA, office; and Anthony DeAngelis, director of its Northeast division.

Patsy Ross, vice president of marketing for Christopher Ranch, told The Produce News that the company will be promoting California heirloom garlic at the expo. “Most of the peeled garlic that we pack is for the foodservice industry,” said Ms. Ross. “We distribute to the sector on a nationwide basis. Garlic is used across the board and in all styles of cooking, so the demand from foodservice operators is always consistent.” She added that it seems like business is picking up a little following the depths of the economic recession, and more people may be dining out at restaurants.

In June, Christopher Ranch issued a press release announcing that it had scored 98 percent on its annual processing safety audit, earning the firm a “superior” rating. For Christopher Ranch Garlic customers, these results reassure them that every Christopher Ranch product is as safe to use as it is flavorful.

When Primus Labs, a leading quality-assurance auditor, sent inspectors to the Christopher Ranch production facilities, they investigated and evaluated the status of 212 separate quality-assurance items. From harvest through processing, packaging and shipping, Christopher Ranch employs HACCP, Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices safety procedures, as well as third-party auditing that ensures consistent quality and complete safety in every Christopher Ranch product.

Even though Christopher Ranch has had an intensive food-safety program for over 10 years, and because it recognizes that its customers depend on the company, it continues to assess and invest in its plant facilities to ensure superior food safety from the field to the end product.

The release added that the company’s latest safety improvements include making facility walls, ceilings, doors and pipes wash-down capable. Improvements also include installing sealed floors, footbaths, new hand-washing stations and shatter-shield lights. Color-coded clean-up tools like brooms and dustbins are kept in their designated areas to avoid cross contamination between processing areas. “It’s not only important to invest in the best-flavor products, but we need to make sure we’re producing a safe and healthy product from field to fork,” Bill Christopher, managing partner of Christopher Ranch, said in the release.

“We will have plenty of California-grown heirloom-variety garlic available in 2011,” said Ms. Ross. “Our heirloom-variety garlic is the only commercially grown [heirloom garlic] variety in the United States. Our foundation seed stock is grown in Nevada’s high desert, where the cold winters create seed with vigor, vitality and higher essential-oil content. We at Christopher Ranch have 100 percent control over our growing process to ensure the quality our customers have grown to expect for over 50 years. Our consistent flavor, proven through chef-tested sensory evaluation and Brix analysis, has become a standard in the industry. Christopher Ranch heirloom garlic is preferred by chefs for its farm-fresh quality; bold, nutty flavor; and creamy garlic finish. All Garlic is not created equal.”