Food Safety

Food Safety

Third-Party Audits

Since 1993, Westside Produce has committed to provide the highest level of food safety and quality to our cantaloupe and honeydew consumers. We have a rigorous and credible food safety management system in place, have implemented a HACCP/HAPC system to identify and reduce hazards at every step in our process, have established a system to review and continually improve our safety and quality objectives, and have communicated the responsibility for food safety and quality to every worker at Westside Produce.

To validate our programs and processes, and ensure compliance at every level, we utilize leading third-party providers of certification, inspection, and testing services. Some of our approved certifying bodies (“CB”) include SCS Global Services (‘SCS”), PrimusLabs (“Primus”), and World Quality Services (“WQS”). Each CB has its own specialty and role in our food safety management system.

Over past 25 years, we have conducted hundreds of audits under several different schemes, including Primus GFS, Global G.A.P. IFA, and Safe Quality Food (“SQF”) Level 3. Each of the above mentioned schemes are Global Food Safety Initiative (“GFSI”) approved, however, SQF Level 3 is the only certification standard that includes a component for quality. Our level 3 certification raises the bar by focusing on providing quality in addition to safe food.

Governmental Audits

Despite the fact that California cantaloupes have never been associated with a food borne illness outbreak, producers and packers in the state have adopted and updated practices to enhance the safety and security of their product based upon knowledge learned over 25-years of conducting extensive research.

In May 2012, 100% of the cantaloupe handlers in California voted to initiate the state’s first mandatory food safety program to be implemented by a commodity board. Through this program, the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board (“CCAB”) now includes a food safety certification program that requires government auditors to verify that a set of science-based production and handling metrics are being followed by individual handlers. Click here for CCAB Audit Metrics. This new program will make non-compliance an unfair trade practice in California.

The CCAB is also a major contributor to the Center for Produce Safety, an organization charged with conducting research to improve the safety of produce. California cantaloupe producers have pledged over $250,000 to assist in funding this important research.

California Cantaloupe Advisory Board

California Department of Food & Agruiculture

Proud Member of CCAB

Accountability  |  Uniformity  |  Consistency

Westside Produce, a proud member of the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board (CCAB), upholds the highest standards of safety and quality for cantaloupe consumers. As part of California’s unique cantaloupe industry, Westside Produce engages in the only mandatory food safety program in the U.S. produce sector, which incorporates government-led inspections across all stages of cantaloupe production. This program, distinguished by its reliance on United States Department of Food and Agriculture trained auditors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), rather than private contractors, ensures unparalleled accountability, uniformity, and consistency.

Our commitment at Westside Produce extends to comprehensive adherence to the rigorous food safety practices mandated by the CCAB program. This includes undergoing both announced and unannounced audits by government auditors to verify that our operations—from cultivation to cooling—meet every required food safety standard. These procedures are grounded in two decades of dedicated University research, developed with contributions from both government and food safety specialists.

By choosing Westside Produce, consumers are guaranteed cantaloupes that are not only part of California’s premier food safety program but also backed by the stringent oversight of CDFA-employed auditors, ensuring our melons meet the high safety and quality standards our customers deserve.