California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Launches "Romaine Test & Learn" Study; Jan Berk and Tim York Detail
SALINAS, CA - On a mission to uncover critical food safety advancements for Romaine lettuce, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has announced the initiation of a two-year food safety study. The study, “Romaine Test & Learn,” involves collecting and analyzing members’ pathogen test data for Romaine lettuce, including both pre-harvest and post-harvest testing.
“Romaine Test & Learn represents the most significant change the LGMA has made to benefit food safety since its inception,” said Jan Berk, LGMA Chair. “This program will allow our members’ individual testing data to collectively provide meaningful, aggregated data to better understand potential risks.”
The two-year study was approved unanimously by the LGMA Advisory Board. According to a press release, Romaine Test & Learn was inspired by the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program, which is used to revolutionize commercial aviation through the aggregation and sharing of safety data.
“The airline safety model shows us that sharing data can improve safety,” said Tim York, LGMA Chief Executive Officer. “That is why we are embarking on this project—to make lettuce even safer for consumers to enjoy.”
While testing is not mandatory for LGMA members, anyone who does will be required to meet a minimum protocol for collecting and testing samples, the release noted. It is estimated that over 90 percent of LGMA members conduct Romaine lettuce pathogen testing.
The organization has aligned with Western Growers, utilizing its GreenLink™ data sharing and data analytics platform to collect and analyze data over the next two years.
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