Arizona and California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Programs Introduce Environmental Risk Assessment Tool; Teressa Lopez and Greg Komar Comment
CALIFORNIA & ARIZONA - Both the Arizona and California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) food safety programs are aiding growers and shippers in risk analysis with the availability of a new food safety tool. The assessment will consider various risks on the ranch that the farmer controls and the adjacent land to crop production before suggesting measures to minimize the risks.
“The LGMA has always required that its members conduct an environmental risk assessment, but this new tool incorporates the LGMA requirements and standardizes the way that each member addresses specific hazards,” said Teressa Lopez, Arizona LGMA Program Administrator. “After completing the assessment, the user will get a risk score and see what impact specific mitigation measures can have on the safety of the crop.”
The Environmental Risk Assessment Tool is formatted as an Excel spreadsheet, a release stated. It requires users to look at adjacent land uses and hazards, including:
- Animal Operations
- Compost/Soil Amendment Operations
- Non-leafy green crops
- Water Source and Systems
- Urban Settings
- Other Environmental Considerations
Users will enter the hazards and risk considerations, after which the tool will assign a risk result rating. Users can also enter mitigations that were taken at the farm level to address potential hazards prior to planting.
Based on the mitigations entered, the tool will adjust the risk rating based on pre-assigned mitigation values. These values were assigned in the tool depending on the impact those mitigations have on lowering the risks to the field.
“Arizona and California LGMA have been collaborating on this tool with the goal of providing our food safety professionals with the necessary resources to be effective and efficient in monitoring field conditions and adjacent land hazards,” Greg Komar, Technical Director of the California LGMA, stated. “Use of this tool is not required by LGMA members, but we hope that many will take advantage of it.”
For insights on the application of this tool and more, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.