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Mann's FAQs

The foodservice category plays a significant role in Mann Packing’s business model and has grown steadily over the years. Although our value added business has grown with the addition of our Simply Singles® whole leaf line as well as our RomaBlend™ and Arcadian Harvest® salad blends, our commodity program is still critical. A complete, diverse product mix is important to our customers, as is quality service. We strive for both.

Here are some of our Frequently Asked Questions:

Mann Packing is a 78-year-old, third generation family business. In addition to offering a broad range of value added and commodity fresh vegetables, Mann’s is widely recognized as an innovation leader. The creators of the first Broccoli Cole Slaw and the broccoli floret, the company’s leadership continues in blends, packaging and proprietary varieties such as Arcadian Harvest® petite lettuce leaves, Stringless Sugar Snap Peas, Better Burger Leaf®, and Broccolini® — with more always in the pipeline. Because of our reputation as an innovator, we enjoy strong relationships with seed companies, who seek us out with the newest varieties. We have the agility and know-how to bring products to market quickly and well.

Mann Packing has a three generation partnership with its primary grower, Costa Family Farms. This long-term strategic relationship is visible through innovation in seed varieties, harvest techniques, quality, food safety and assurance of supply. This really shines through in terms of extreme market shortages, when many of our customers take note of and appreciate our service levels.

We have multiple processing facilities focused on specific product lines. Our Fresh Leaf Farms facility, for example, processes only leaf products and is the recognized leader in leaf singles’ quality and production efficiency. We are also currently building a 130,000-square-foot production facility scheduled for completion later this summer that will process our value added products, brassicas and sugar snap peas. This state-of-the-art plant will enable continued growth in quality, food safety, service and innovation for generations to come.

We offer both conventional and organic products. Our vegetables are monitored through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) integrated pest management system, and both our conventionally and organic grown vegetables meet or exceed all of the standards and requirements.

We have seen tremendous growth in our Organic Arcadian Harvest® salad mix. Salads represent the first step a restaurant will take in converting away from conventionally-grown produce. We have positioned our growing operations to react to further demand as restaurants experiment or commit to organic.

No. All of Mann’s products are free of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). We do not grow or distribute any GMO products.

We love the idea of using products that are not typically commercially viable, and this is an area we have been exploring. We know a customer who is using mushroom stems that are trimmed to make stock. However, that same operator is not interested in our celery waste because it has leaves in it, which is something they don’t like.

We have, however, been using as much of the vegetable as possible for over 25 years. For example, we created Broccoli Cole Slaw in order to utilize broccoli stems, which previously had been used as livestock feed. We use cauliflower cores the same way.

The “Best” date is the date we guarantee the product to be fresh through. To see if they are still fresh after the best date, open the package and look for any darkening or strong odor. If either of these things exist, we recommend you discard the package and not use the products. Our motto is “when in doubt, throw it out.” The majority of our products have a shelf life of 16 days; the “Best” date on the package is the 16th day.

All of our packages state the Country of Origin. Look on the front, top right corner and it will state the country. Our produce grown in the USA is grown in either California or Arizona. Sometimes in the winter we will import snow peas or snap peas from Guatemala or Mexico. In this case, it will clearly state that on the package. None of our products come from China or any other countries/regions.

Micro perforation is the process of placing tiny microscopic holes in the bag. These help manage the oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the bags which is produced after vegetables are harvested. Nitrogen can do the same thing, however the micro perforation has tested better at diminishing the accumulation of natural gases and keeping the vegetables fresher longer vs. nitrogen.

The number one reason for early decay before the “Best” date of fresh produce is breaking the “cold chain” and putting them in fluctuating temperatures not cold enough to keep the produce at its optimal freshness. This can happen several ways after the produce leaves our plant, such as:

  • Inconsistent refrigeration during transportation. Recorders are placed in the trucks to monitor refrigeration levels to best ensure freshness of products during and after transport.
  • Products not being received into (34° to 36°) refrigeration immediately upon arrival, and continually kept in the cold chain through storing, merchandising and stocking the items at the store level. (If fresh produce is left on the dock or in the aisles and not refrigerated right away this can knock days off the shelf life.)
  • If fresh produce isn’t refrigerated within 30 minutes of being out of the cold chain, early decay can start.

Remember we use no preservatives or additives, so proper refrigeration is key to keeping the products fresh and flavorful through the “Best if used by” date.

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Customer Care Dept.
Mann Packing Co., Inc.
PO Box 690
Salinas, CA 93902-0690