Two crate washers installed at RedStar: brilliant washing and drying results
Peter van Geest, TD Coordinator at RedStar: “The crates are virtually dry when removed from the machine and completely dry by the time they are stacked, which is already a massive improvement. We’re delighted with the solutions that Limex have provided.”
Across an area of 66 greenhouse hectares in the Netherlands, and 23 and 57 hectares in England and Morocco respectively, family business RedStar grows flavoursome tomatoes in an organic and environmentally friendly way. The entire tomato harvest is then taken to their packaging and distribution centre, located on the Poortcamp road in De Lier. The tomatoes are graded and processed into customer specific packaging and then transported to supermarket shelves all over Europe.
The importance of optimal hygiene
Good hygiene in the packaging and distribution processes is essential at RedStar. Not only does this apply to food safety, it’s also vital in preventing the spread of the tomato virus known as ToBRFV-virus. This aggressive virus causes severe damage to tomatoes and has a devastating effect in tomato greenhouses. Peter emphasises: “This is a virus that you definitely don’t want in your greenhouse and don’t want to allow to spread either.”
Spotlessly clean and bone-dry crates
To minimise the risk of contamination, Limex supplied two single-track crate washers with highly effective rinse and dry functions. Both incoming and outgoing crates are rigorously cleaned. Limex connected the washer in the logistics process to the existing treatment, unburdening the client completely.
The machines consist of a main wash, soaking zone, a second main wash and finally, a rinsing procedure. By implementing the Sinner Circle method, we ensure that viruses and bacteria such as ToBRFV and listeria have no opportunity to gain a foothold.
Once the crates are clean, they undergo a final drying procedure: the drying process, during which the crates are blow-dried. Then the crates are stacked dry. The Limex crate washing machines are capable of washing 2,200 crates per hour.
Finding an effective way to dry the crates was a vital part of RedStar’s plans to tackle the persistent and highly infectious tomato virus. Peter emphasises: “Collaborating with Limex was a really enjoyable experience.” Thanks to the brilliant washing and drying results provided by the single-track crate washers, RedStar are on the right track to ensure hygiene and food safety, and combat the tomato virus effectively.