Center-based Canon Potato Co. has added a full-time food safety officer and plans to undergo an SQF audit this fall in an effort to boost its food safety program.

“We spent all summer focusing on food safety,” said David Tonso, co-owner. “We’re going to take a step up to an SQF audit. It’s been pretty much a full-time obligation.”

The company has made minor upgrades to its facility here and there to make the jump from a GAP-level audit to the SQF level, Tonso said. But the main change has been in record-keeping.

Tonso tried to do it himself, but found it took up too much of his time. So earlier this year the company hired Stan David to be its full-time food safety officer.

David, a veteran of the valley potato industry, had been working as an adviser to area sheds on food safety-related issues, Tonso said.

“It’s been super having him on board,” he said. “I feel real comfortable with the direction he’s taking us.”