How we are #flatteningthecurve and protecting ourselves and our customers.
In normal times, Rowan’s Royale observes practices that meet or exceed industry standards in food and food handling safety. However, at this time we are increasing our safety measures, educating ourselves about emerging best practices and adapting our methodologies to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19.
Each year, before inspection for Organic Certification by CERES GmbH, Rowan’s Royale updates its Hazard Analysis and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Organic Processing.
This year Rowan’s Royale (RR) participated in a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Webinar on COVID-19, Coffee and Food Safety. It raised a number of issues and gave guidance which we have taken on board and we have adapted our 2020 SOPs to reflect them.
Ensuring Minimum Human Interaction with the Coffee
At a maximum we have only seven individuals working with us. Three are solely on-farm. Post-harvest only four people are involved – currently that number has been reduced to three. In addition, the following actions have been added to our food handling and processing regimen.
The storage/sorting areas are locked and entry only permitted with protection.
Scientists are still unsure how long the virus can live on a range of surfaces. Our storage solutions have been identified in our Hazard Control Points memo and additional exposure control measures are in place.
Transfer of dry parchment; the name for dried coffee prior to hulling (removal of parchment), from drying racks to bags and from bags to huller, sizing and sorting, is undertaken wearing (non-latex) protective gloves and masks.
In keeping with Jamaican coffee industry regulations, the minimum time our coffee is rested after drying is 3 month – there has been no suggestion that the virus can live as long as 3 months on any surface.
There is no information to suggest that the virus could survive the high temperatures at which coffee is roasted, so we have concentrated on maximising safety precautions in handling and packaging.
Once roasted and bagged, each order is now heat sealed in clear plastic.
In this way customers will be able to sanitize the outer plastic bag without damage to the labeling or freshness valves on the coffee bags themselves.
We hope this assures you that at Rowan’s Royale we take the protection of YOUR health, and the safety of OUR coffee seriously.
If you have any suggestions or questions, please do share them with us.
Stay safe! Wash your hands!