Produce Marketing Association Updates Industry on Current State of Produce Safety
NEWARK, DE - With an industry as vast as ours, we at ANUK are thankful to have leaders like Produce Marketing Association (PMA) keeping us up to date on the latest updates in fresh produce. Aiming to keep us all on the same page in terms of produce safety, PMA recently announced a pair of virtual meetings to discuss outbreaks in leafy greens, the proposed FDA regulation, and other timely safety topics. The meetings are planned specifically to engage experts to speak candidly about what is working, what is not working, and what the industry and regulatory partners can do moving forward.
“This is a critical time for the industry to become more engaged in the developments around produce safety and traceability right now,” said Dr. Max Teplitski, Chief Science Officer. “We are seeing the convergence of the impact of seasonal outbreaks; the development of new traceability tools and protocols; and the introduction of regulatory changes in the FDA’s Leafy Greens Action Plan, The New Era of Smarter Food Safety, and the proposed Traceability Rule. It’s essential that we are positioned not only to react to these changes but can take an active role in the leadership and innovation that will make produce safer for all consumers.”
The first event will be the Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, November 18 at 12 p.m. ET. The November 18 meeting, “Cracking the Code of Seasonality in Leafy Green Outbreaks,” will feature a panel of food safety experts who will assess the safety of eating leafy greens. Utilizing the results of collaborative research, best practice implementations, and expanded traceability efforts, the session will help industry members understand the current challenges and identify important steps being taken to enhance produce safety.
A press release noted that the session will be moderated by Vice President of Produce Safety Dr. Trevor Suslow, and will feature Dr. Michele Jay-Russell of University of California, Davis; Neva Cochran, a registered dietician and nutrition communications consultant; Dr. Kristen Pogreba-Brown of University of Arizona; and Jim Brenan of SmartWash Solutions. Registration is free and open to all but is required in advance to access the meeting.
The second event, “FSMA 204 Record Keeping Rule: What FDA got right and what needs improvement!,” will take place on Thursday, November 19 at 2 p.m. ET. The session, sponsored by iTradeNetwork, will focus on the proposed FDA regulation on Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods. PMA has convened a Comments Taskforce made up of industry volunteers and members of that group will be present to share their thoughts and ideas on the proposed ruling. The session will be interactive and an opportunity for attendees to join and share their thoughts and comments. All interested in attending can register now.
“There has been extensive collaboration across the supply chain in the past year to address produce safety, traceability and the recurring outbreaks associated with certain products like leafy greens,” said Suslow. “While we all look to work with our regulatory partners to collectively progress towards solutions and improvement, there is much that can be done to improve communication, application of best practices, and focus on facts and not fault to better position our industry to enhance produce safety. We look forward to the opportunities ahead of us to bring together the industry to hear from the experts leading the conversations that will help move us all forward.”
Don’t miss out on these opportunities to learn more on produce safety!