United Fresh Updates Food Safety Guidelines for Fresh Tomato Supply Chain
WASHINGTON, D.C. - United Fresh Produce Association had issued an updated version of the Food Safety Programs and Auditing Protocol for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain. It is also called ‘Tomato Metrics.’ The recent updated format comes after the association’s attempt to unify food safety audit standards for the fresh tomato supply chain.
“Over the past decade, United Fresh has strived to encourage broad industry participation in the development process of both the Tomato Metrics and the Harmonized Standard, as is demonstrated by the wide adoption of the Tomato Metrics among tomato handling operations,” stated Dr. Emily Griep, Manager of Food Safety. “We hope that the new format of these metrics will encourage continued use of these standards, achieving our ultimate goal of food safety standard harmonization and reduced audit fatigue among produce growing and handling operations.”
According to a press release, the Tomato Working Group favored a new structure in which tomato operations will use the Harmonized Standard as the base food safety protocol with the Tomato Metrics added as an industry-specific addendum. The Tomato Metrics are limited to areas that are unique to the tomato industry with the revision.
The updated Tomato Metrics integrates with the September 2018 publication of the Tomato Guidelines. These resources give detailed material and auditing protocols for the endorsed food safety practices intended to minimize the microbiological hazards associated with fresh and fresh-cut tomato products combined.
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