BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Cold storage facilities keep your produce fresh with gradually lowered temperatures, darkness and the help of ammonia. To ensure the produce you eventually buy is up to par, Environmental Health workers must inspect them every year.
"We start by looking at the documentation and programs they have for the facility, and then we would do a physical inspection," said Environmental Health Specialist Dan Starkey.
The inspection consists of workers looking at the engine room and the different parts of the ammonia system.
A cold storage plant in Mettler has about a million pounds of onions and ships out about 100,000 pounds each day.
With such a large facility, inspectors must do preventative maintenance to ensure there is not an accidental ammonia leak.
Starkey says he has seen valves being blown, gas gone bad and pressure relief valves gone off. This makes the inspections that much more important.
Storage managers say that on average, onions and potatoes have a six month processing time and can be kept in cold storage for up to two years.