Field harvest season is getting underway and pick-your-own operations are just starting to open for the season, and food safety is at the forefront of many growers’ minds.
Hand washing is a key component of a food safety plan for vegetable and fruit growers. Field hand-washing stations are a good idea where workers or pick-your-own customers are harvesting or packing produce in fields that aren’t near facilities. The ability to wash sticky hands before and after picking is also attractive to pickers in pick-your-own operations – many PYO operations prominently advertise that they have hand-washing facilities. While it is possible to rent or purchase mobile wash-stations, Ann Hamilton, UNH Extension Field Specialist in Food Safety recently showed me a hand-made and inexpensive station that appealed to my crafty and thrifty sides.
Ann made her wash-station using plans published by the University of Minnesota, which are easy to follow. These plans are descriptively titled “How to build a field hand washing station in 10 easy steps for under $20”, and for those that would rather watch a Youtube video, that option is available by clicking here.
This design is just a starting point, and could be customized to be more elegant or suite your specific needs – but it is a helpful reminder that a portable hand-washing station does not need to break the bank!