June 23, 2022

New Voices of the Valley Episode: Food Safety and Using Automation to Mitigate Risk

By: Ann Donahue

Priority Sampling Founder and CEO Rafael Davila joins the podcast to talk about his company’s efforts to improve the safety of the food supply chain.

“I focus on the tissue sampling process, which is between the grower and the harvest,” Rafael says of his company, which is currently focused on the leafy greens industry. In recent years testing has gone from a “Z-pattern” to a “serpentine pattern,” he says, which goes row-by-row. “Sampling is a very labor-intensive process,” he said. “We’ve had samplers walk hundreds of miles doing every single row…we wanted to focus on how to get the sampler through every single row, faster and easier.”

A veteran in food safety and a member of Western Growers’ Food Safety Cohort, Rafael says the key for the future is to automate and add value by incorporating cameras and data analysis into the sampling: “I leapt into doing this full-time to perfect this process.”

Listen to the latest episode of Voices of the Valley here.