Sanitation in the Sweetpotato Packinghouse
Learn more about protocols for sanitation in the sweetpotato packinghouse!
In addition to sanitizing the sweetpotato storage roots to prevent or control decay, it is critical to ensure proper sanitation of the sweetpotato packinghouse. Without proper sanitation protocols, decay-causing microorganisms that enter the packinghouse from the sweetptoato field can survive on various surfaces and cause rampant decay and disease (Ferrin et al., 2010).
Sanitation within the sweetpotato packing house includes the sanitization or treatment of wash water, the packing line, storage bins, and any additional areas of the packinghouse that come into contact with sweetpotatoes and may support the survival of microorganisms that cause decay (Ferrin et al., 2010). The sanitation of these packinghouse components is best achieved through the process of rinsing, washing, rinsing, and sanitizing with a sanitizing agent (Ferrin et al., 2010). Additionally, to ensure proper sanitation, surfaces must be cleared of adhering debris and bacterial films as they may contribute to the retention of decay-causing microorganisms (Ferrin et al., 2010).
General Recommendations For Sanitizing
The below list has been adapted from the LSU AgCenter Sanitation in the Sweet Potato Packinghouse Factsheet.
- Prepare fresh sanitizing solutions every day.
- Replace wash water as often as possible.
- Clean and sanitize the packing line and storage bins after each use.
- Remove sweetpotatoes and debris from the floor every day.