Obsession with Quality & Food Safety
Agricultural, quality, food safety, and processing best practices are implemented every step of the way from our farms to your table in order to insure that we deliver a delicious difference you can see and taste.
Growing Quality In
- The difference in our potatoes starts with our selection of farmlands in the rich Pennsylvania Dutch Hegins and Lykens Valleys. The rolling hills and red shale soil of these valleys provide a unique, well-drained farmland composition that contributes to the deliciously unique taste and rich, creamy texture of the high quality potatoes grown on Masser farms.
- To optimize flavor and quality, we plant specific potato varieties that we know grow best in our soils and our climate.
- We rotate crops every 3 years to insure sustainable, healthy soil both now and in the future
- We vine kill before harvest to set the potato skin; this protects the flesh throughout the harvest and packing process and insures our potatoes look as good as they taste.
Harvesting, Storage, Washing, and Packaging Best Practices that Protect Quality, Maximize Freshness, and Extend Shelf Life
- Air-glide harvesters gently lift the potatoes from the ground, separate them from their stems and surrounding soil/rocks, and gently place them into trucks for delivery to either storage or the packing shed.
- Potatoes headed for storage are treated with a natural clove-based sprout inhibitor, cooled to maximize freshness, and placed in our climate-controlled storage bins, which can hold up to 17,500 tons of potatoes.
- Our potatoes are packed-to-order in our 160,000 square foot state of the art facility, moving from storage or directly from the field through multiple wash stations, including a final anti-microbial rinse to prevent bacteria growth.
- Washed potatoes go through multiple quality and sizing inspections, including photographic grading, sizing, and hollow-heart detection, on-site USDA inspection, and visual inspection by trained associates—all to insure consistent size, shape and quality in the final package.
- The sized and graded potatoes are cooled and dried prior to being packaged in their final unit of sale, which prevents moisture build-up in the package. Clean, fresh, dry potatoes in the package means longer shelf life and greater product satisfaction when served. This also allows us to pack-to-order and provide same or next day delivery to our customers.
- Our 5 packaging lines accommodate all pack sizes and configurations and include a "clean room" environment where we package our microwave and grill-ready products to insure consistent quality, safety, and performance at home.
A "Home" for Potatoes that Don't Quite Meet Your Expectations
Our customers have high standards and we strive to meet or exceed them everyday. Potatoes that fall short of customer specifications are shipped to our sister company, Keystone Potato Products, LLC, for use in fresh cut fries, potato flakes, and potato flour destined for foodservice, ingredient and commercial uses. That way we delight all our customers while utilizing the entire crop and minimizing food waste.
Safety, including Food Safety, is a Masser Core Value and the cornerstone of the Sterman Masser Corporate Responsibility platform. Our best practices to insure that the potatoes we bring to market are safe for consumers begin with our soils and seeds and extend across the entire supply chain to the final product sold in retail outlets or in restaurants.
- Sterman Masser has adopted and committed to the implementation of the food safety standards promulgated by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
- 100% of Sterman Masser owned and/or managed production acreage is PrimusGFS, USDA GAP, or Canada GAP certified
- Our packing facilities are certified to SQF2000 Level 3 standards. First certified in 2009, Masser was the first produce facility in the United States to achieve this certification, and has been recertified every year since.
- Masser Potato Farms is also a certified organic packer.
In addition to prevention-based food safety initiatives, all product packed by Masser Potato Farms can be rapidly and fully traced back to the lot, field, shed, and pack date. Sterman Masser is committed to the implementation of the industry-wide Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) standard and is currently capable of assigning and encoding 14-digit GTIN numbers in GS1-128 barcodes at the case and pallet level.