July 2, 2008, Kingsville, Ont. — International news agency CNN featured North American greenhouse tomato marketer Mastronardi Produce/SUNSET brand on Monday night during the Lou Dobbs Tonight show. With the focus of the produce industry centered around the Salmonella outbreak, CNN Correspondent Kitty Pilgrim, sitting in for Lou Dobbs, was quick to point out the key successes of Mastronardi’s traceability program.
"We ensure that we are able to track the fruit that we produce," said Paul Mastronardi, executive vice-president of Mastronardi Produce Ltd. "We can walk into any store and pick up one of our Sunset labelled tomatoes and trace it back to the greenhouse where it was grown.”
Mastronardi’s has in place a fully comprehensive Food Safety Program that encompasses everything from farm to customer. Mastronardi was one of the first in the greenhouse industry to implement a robust traceability program that would require all produce packed under the Sunset label to contain Product Origin information as well as a Farm Code to trace back to which greenhouse it was grown.
Pilgrim went on to praise Mastronardi Produce for their onsite laboratory as one of only a few in the industry. When Pilgrim asked Mastronardi how often were tests conducted on their vegetables, he responded “daily.”