At Hirakata Farms in Rocky Ford, Colorado, Michael Hirakata takes melon growing seriously. He, and his team, have completely bought into the idea of growing and selling the world’s best cantaloupes in the safest manner possible.
Even before the melons are harvested, they are fed filtered water that has been infused with a chlorine solution to prohibit the development of harmful bacteria. After the melons are harvested, they are carefully scrutinized for perfection by an experienced QA team. Only the best melons make it to be packed in Hirakata boxes.
Next, they pass through a chlorine solution shower and are lightly scrubbed by specialized rollers. The melons are in constant motion to reduce the chance of cross contamination.
Finally, they are once again checked by a second line of quality analyzers before being sorted and packed. At this point, the melons are usually around 80 to 85 degrees after being cooled down slightly by the chlorine shower. They have invested in four state-of-the-art Super Hydro-Coolers that quickly lower the temperature to 40 degrees, where the melons are held waiting to be loaded onto refrigerated trucks before landing at FreshPoint Denver.
At FreshPoint, we are dedicated to bringing you the highest quality produce that the industry can provide. Our partnership with Hirakata is just an example of more things to come as we support local produce.
Submitted by: Steven Genth
FreshPoint was recently recognized with the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation’s prestigious Role Model Award. The annual award recognizes public and private organizations for outstanding efforts in increasing the visibility, recognition and impact of the “Fruits & Veggies—More Matters” national health campaign. To learn more, visit www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org.
FreshPoint has also taken the pledge to Eat by Example from the PMA. Have you signed up yet? www.pma.com/eatingbyexample