Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Implements New Food Safety Standards as the Season Gets Underway; C.R. Waters and Teressa Lopez Comment
PHOENIX, AZ - The safety of fresh produce relies on the compliance of everyone across the supply chain, and the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) knows this well. This growing season, the organization will implement changes to the adjacent land use and soil amendments sections of the food safety best practices approved by its Food Safety Committee. The changes go into effect immediately, and the Arizona Department of Food and Agriculture auditors will begin verifying compliance in November. Training events and online resources for harvest crews will be made available as well.
“The changes to the food safety guidelines for our upcoming growing season represent the Arizona growing community’s commitment to keeping consumers safe. Today we approved changes that our members will be using in their operations to supply the nation with leafy green vegetables this winter,” said C.R. Waters, Chairman.
According to a press release, the changes to the food safety best practices include:
- A detailed assessment evaluating risk levels is required for adjacent lands
- Pre-harvest testing is required when risk assessments deem it necessary
- A new approach to soil amendments and crop inputs including new categories and incorporates a risk-based approach
Please click here for a list of updated best practices and a copy of the document with tracked changes.
“Change is never easy,” said Teressa Lopez, Program Administrator. “That is why we are supporting our members with a multitude of training and education sessions in the Yuma region in August and September. We are also providing our award-winning food safety kit digitally on our website so anyone can access it at any time. Training materials and event registration are available [here].”
We applaud the AZ LGMA on its continuous efforts to protect the safety of leafy greens.