The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the public health and society impacting all communities and individuals. People are now adopting a New Normal way of life, in which everyone needs to wear a mask in a public space, maintain social distancing and check temperature frequently for self-monitoring. Most importantly, consumers take extra caution when buying fresh fruits and vegetables for their daily consumption. Selecting fruits and vegetables from the sources that have good production management system would help reduce risks and ensure safety for consumers.

“Thailand” is the major exporter of the vast variety of fruits and vegetables to all over the world, including durian, mangosteen, pomelo, mango, longan, asparagus, okra, baby corn, chili, lime, etc. Thailand is also among the first countries that have recognized the importance to deliver safety to consumers. Therefore, the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Ministry of Interior have joined forces in implementing the compliance of COVID-19 Prevention Best Practice in food production for export, to enablemanufacturers, exporters, business operators, fruit and vegetable suppliers, as well as logistics operators to follow the standard guidelines which cover:

1.Reduce the risk of contamination from raw ingredients and containers.

Business operators and suppliers in fruit and vegetable shipping must control access to the premises, such as signing names to check-in, using an online system to screen and manage employee data as well as data on the freight vehicles, surface cleaning the freight vehicles at risk of contamination after each use, while employees need to wear a mask at all times to prevent contamination.

2.Strict production control

Every factory must implement quality and safety controls throughout the production line, from receiving fresh fruit and vegetable, processing, packing in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Besides, employees must keep personal hygiene at all times by wearing aprons, gloves and mask, and hand wash frequently during work, while maintaining preventive measures for transporting goods by cleaning and disinfecting the interior of the vehicle container.

3.Control Personal Hygiene, Work Environment as well as Location and Manufacturing Building

The entrance and exit must be controlled while the manufacturing building, meeting room, cafeteria, changing room, toilets should be properly managed to reduce congestion. Business operators should install high-efficiency ventilation systems and air filters in the building.

– Sanitationthe personal hygiene equipment must be readily available at the work station including a handwashing sink, liquid soap, disinfectant, disposable paper towels and auto lid pedal waste bins, with the clear instructions provided.

– Cleaning: Strictly clean and disinfect the machinery manufacturing buildings, toilets, floors, walls, as well as common areas which are prone to contact such as door knobs, handrails, elevator buttons, chairs, dining tables, etc., in appropriate frequency and time of day.

– Personal hygiene of workers :Workers must be screened daily before entering the building,collecting information to trace back and must wear a mask at all times. They are also required to wear gloves, wash hands, maintain social distancing and prevent any contaminations during operation.

 – TrainingEmployees are trained to protect themselves from COVID-19 including temperature checking, wearing a mask, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, as well as reducing congestion, in order to ensure that their workplace is COVID-19 secure.

As the major fruit and vegetable exporter, “Thailand” is, thus, delivering fruit and vegetable products to consumers with the great emphasis on reassurance in safety. Thailand offers a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned fruits, dried fruits and juices, as well as other food products, including rice, frozen seafood, chicken, shrimp, fish, food and beverage products, snacks, halal food, healthy food, and Ready to eat food. Consumers can purchase these products from Thailand at department stores, superstores, and various stores with full confidence and conveniently in response to the New Normal way of life for people around the world.