Enhanced Food Safety Practices
In collaboration with government and university specialists, organizations representing fresh-produce farmers and handlers have written enhanced food safety practices for the growing of leafy greens. Organizations cooperating in the project include California Farm Bureau Federation, Western Growers Association, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association.
The practices affect production of iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, baby leaf lettuce (i.e., immature lettuce or leafy greens), escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula and chard. The practices have been accepted by the Leafy Greens Handler Marketing Agreement Advisory Board and may be viewed on the board Web site. The board will oversee inspections, conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, that verify compliance with the food safety practices.
New, more stringent water standards on leafy greens farms were adopted in April 2019. While current water standards for leafy greens farms in Arizona and California meet or exceeded standards required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the industry is committed to applying what has been learned from the recent outbreak investigations to further improve production standards. After much analysis, review of the best science currently available, discussions and input, new actionable and audit able water standards were adopted for California leafy greens farms.
Farm Bureau continues to work towards implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a federal update to food safety regulations. Many of the requirements of FSMA are similar to the LGMA guidelines.
A new initiative for leafy green food safety was started in late 2020 to focus on “adjacent lands” where crop production fields border with rangelands; Monterey County Farm Bureau is participating as one of the leaders of this new Good Agricutlural Neighbors initiative that will bring together stakeholders to discuss farm and ranch practices, as well as review new studies and research that will provide additional insight into pathogen transmission and risks.
Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production and Harvest of Lettuce and Leafy Greens. Accepted by the LGMA Advisory Board, these are the food safety practices that LGMA members are required to implement in order to comply with the program.
Safe Fruits & Veggies
A resource for science-based information about the safety of organic and conventional produce; use facts, not fear, to make healthy food choices. Try the pesticide resedue calculator to see the true exposure risks of produce in our food supply.
Safe Fruits & Veggies
Analysis of the Standards for Irrigation and Foliar Contact Water provided by Trevor V. Suslow, Ph.D. from University of California, Davis
Analysis of Food Safety and Ecological Heath from Dr. Jeffrey Langholtz and Dr. Karen Lowell
Alliance for Food & Farming study on the impacts of negative messages on the conumption of fresh fruits and vegetables
Five Facts about Produce
In the nutrition world, information about healthy eating can be confusing, complicated or even conflicting. When it comes to produce, it should be simple: Eat more organic and conventional fruits and veggies every day for better health and a longer life. But here are some additional produce facts, which may be of interest to consumers:
- We Don’t Eat Nearly Enough: Only one in 10 Americans eat enough produce each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Slight Increases Can Prevent Diseases: If half of Americans increased their consumption of fruits and veggies by a single serving each day, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually.
- Washing Removes Residues: Washing organic and conventional produce under running tap water often removes or eliminates any minute residues that may be present, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
- People Who Eat More Are Happier: Peer reviewed studies show mental well-being rose in accordance with the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed.
- Continually Tested for Safety: Over 99% of the produce sampled by USDA had pesticide residue levels below tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency. And 50% of foods sampled by the FDA had no detectable residues at all.
But there’s more! Fruits and veggies comprise the only food group that health experts everywhere agree we should all eat more of every day for better health and a longer life. And, since farmers’ own families are their first consumers, food safety is always their priority.
Healthy and Safe – the most important facts of all to remember. Read more about food safety at www.SafeFruitsandVeggies.com
Provided by: Alliance for Food & Farming