Cleaning seeds requires implementing contamination prevention practices. The equipment used and complexity of cleaning and handling makes this a high-risk production area.
When do cleaning measures need to be implemented for seed cleaning?
All mixed-use equipment — machines used with non-certified organic seeds — must be cleaned, inspected and documented. Your cleaning process must demonstrate that non-organic seed or contaminants are not able to come into contact with organic seed when cleaning begins.
What techniques help remove possible contaminants?
Dry cleaning — brushes, brooms, air, etc. — are all suitable techniques to ensure that non-organic contaminants have been removed.
What about hard to reach areas of seed cleaning equipment?
An adequate equipment purge — a small portion of organic seed run through the equipment (that is diverted to non-organic sales) — cleans the unreachable areas.
What records are needed for seed cleaning contamination prevention?
Document the cleaning of equipment for annual inspection and verification. Write down the dates, cleaning methods, and even take pictures for further verification that proper cleaning was done.