California walnuts are handled with great care and attention to bring our customers and consumers the best quality product. For more than a century, the California walnut industry has earned a reputation for producing the highest quality walnuts in the world while maintaining an exceptional food safety record.
It all starts at the farm with growers setting the stage for producing a wholesome product by following established best practices, known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). With the harvest underway, walnuts are shaken from the trees and quickly processed, adhering to, if not exceeding, standards set by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The California walnut industry has been a leader in ensuring food safety through continuous investment in education, training and research. With over $2 million invested in food safety research projects for nearly a decade, our industry is committed to solid science to protect our customers and consumers. This is evidenced by the excellent food safety track record of the California walnut industry.
And while it helps that walnuts, in addition to being rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, are also naturally protected by two layers of a hull and a shell that significantly reduce the possibility of contamination, there is no substitute for due diligence and effective food safety, sanitation and safe product handling practices while growing and handling walnuts through the supply chain.
Before packaging, shelled and in-shell California walnuts are manually checked. This thorough final inspection step makes sure that the best possible walnuts are packed according to industry specifications. Random product samples are regularly laboratory tested to make sure they meet with U.S. requirements. Additionally, shipments are reviewed to ensure they comply with any international standards for the country of import destination.
When the products arrive in the EU, they are checked once again. Through targeted sampling and analyses, the official food monitoring provides consumer protection and food safety.
As food safety is crucial to the California walnut industry, continuous investments in food safety training and research projects help maintain and improve the quality of California walnuts.