Maple trees have played a leading role in health

Holy Soul – Many growers did not wait for more restrictive mandatory standards to be introduced or for more systematic inspection of the health of maple trees before implementing food grade production. This is the case of Yvon Grégoire of Saint-Esprit in Lanaudière. For example, the latter fitted a white, washable cover everywhere inside its cabin, even on the roof.

“Earlier, sugar huts were made of wood. It was not washable and was dark; If it was dirty you couldn’t see. Now, plastic walls are a perfect fit. You wipe it with a cloth and it will be clean,” he explains. The mop never goes away. “We wash the floors with hot water every day, and if we spill syrup, we wash it off immediately. This way, it does not become sticky and there is no chance of bacteria growing. ,

There are sheets on the walls of their cabins specifically specifying the protocols to be followed for cleaning the concentrator and evaporator. The maple syrup manufacturer insisted, “We wrote everything down to make sure we didn’t forget anything.” On his desk, a production register is duly completed by hand. This lets him know when to wash his equipment so that it can work better.

Eating at the place of its production is prohibited. And during sugar season, alcohol is now a memory. “Earlier, there were people who came to the cabin for help and got beaten up, but that is over. This is a different era. Especially with new machines (electric evaporators), you can’t afford to make mistakes. Additionally, if the person has been drinking, handling the syrup becomes more risky. When you put it in the barrel, if it is not hot enough and you send it for export, it will not keep well. they go scraper barrel and you will be punished,” Mr. Gregoire says.

He observed that the new generation of maple growers are less “folkloristic” and more serious in syrup production. “They’re on their phones instead of gin,” he says, laughing.

carefully and well trained

At Montérégie, the Perron brothers also got into the habit of washing everything after boiling it every day.

We wash the floors. All of our equipment, our utensils, the tumbler, every day. Even the frame of the syrup press is washed in a pressure washer. This way, when we start boiling again the next morning, nothing is sticky.

Vincent Perron

To reduce the risk of maple sap contamination, concentrate basins are also washed daily during pouring. Someone who has received hygiene training explains that you have to be careful about cross-contamination. “When you wipe a counter with a cloth, you don’t take the same cloth to wipe down an appliance,” mentions a manufacturer who uses 38,000 Cuts.

The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) oversaw its maple products processing business and, by extension, its syrup production. “We had some minor recommendations. For example, we didn’t filter our syrup hot enough. We have replaced the equipment and it is now compliant,” Mr. Perrone says.

For the good of the industry, he believes MAPAQ should inspect many more sugar mills. He also recommends that all of his associates in maple syrup production take safety training.

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