Industry Comments on FDA Final Investigation of 2020 Leafy Greens Related Outbreak
UNITED STATES - As you can well imagine, we here at AndNowUKnow follow all news regarding leafy greens like a sharp-eyed hawk. And just yesterday, the FDA released a statement detailing its compound findings of investigations into the 2020 outbreaks involving E. coli O157:H7. Although the investigation was tied to leafy greens, no specific variety, brand, or supplier was identified as the source.
Both the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) provided statements.
“We want our customers to know the LGMA has already taken action to address these findings and are urgently working to develop additional measures to prevent contamination throughout leafy greens farming operations,” LGMA outlined in its statement. “A special Subcommittee of the LGMA’s Technical Committee has been formed to address risks related to land adjacent to leafy greens farms and has been meeting frequently over the past several months.”
Ultimately, the FDA investigation identified the outbreak strain in a sample of manure from a roadway in the vicinity of production sites of interest.
The Adjacent Lands Subcommittee hopes to mitigate this risk through its active participation from growers, food safety experts, scientists, landowners, and cattle ranchers to examine all possible ways to better assess and mitigate risks that may be present not just on leafy greens farms, but on property located near leafy greens farms. LGMA is also developing new risk assessment tools through its comprehensive training program.
PMA too noted that a systems-based approach with extensive collaboration amongst industry members is critical for businesses to continue to provide the safe and nutritious products that are essential to the supply chain.
“The burden to ensure and maintain the safest food supply is not only for our industry to bear. PMA continues to strongly advocate for the investment in understanding root cause analysis; improving practices to support compliance with the Produce Safety Rule and Leafy Greens Action Plan; and as reinforced by the FDA’s latest findings, prioritizing broad cooperation across the co-regionalized agricultural sectors in implementing practices that mitigate the persistence and transfer of STEC from adjacent land and environmental reservoirs and within the crop production environment,” PMA wrote in its statement.
To read the report in its entirety, click here.
As always, AndNowUKnow will continue to cover the latest in all news relating to fresh produce.