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Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Lettuce and Leafy Greens Supply Chain

03.may.06

03.may.06 - Washington, DC – In a joint effort to help the fresh produce industry
ensure the highest levels of food safety, the International Fresh-cut
Produce Association (IFPA), Produce Marketing Association (PMA),
United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association (United) and Western
Growers (WG) today released Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines
for the Lettuce and Leafy Greens Supply Chain.
Developed by a group of leading produce food safety experts and
representatives of operations within the industry, the document
provides food safety guidance for the entire lettuce and leafy greens
supply chain, including production and harvest, postharvest, fresh-
cut and value added, distribution, and end-user handling operations.
The document identifies specific food safety guidance to lettuce
growers, shippers, packers, processors, transportation providers,
retailers, and foodservice operators.
“United, PMA, IFPA, WG and our industry partners have made food
safety our top priority,” said Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president of
quality assurance and technology for United and Editor-In-Chief of
the guidance document. “We are committed to continual improvement of
produce safe handling practices and suggest that all companies
involved in the lettuce and leafy greens supply chain consider the
recommendations contained within these guidelines.”
IFPA, PMA, United, WG and industry partners also support educational
outreach efforts to assure awareness and use of available lettuce and
leafy greens food safety information. In addition, these leading
produce trade organizations will work together to review and
implement these and other important produce industry food safety
guidelines.
“Our organizations are committed to the common goal of assuring
consumer confidence in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables,”
said Kathy Means, PMA vice president of government relations.
“Everyone in the supply chain is responsible for food safety. Our
industry takes this charge very seriously and is proud of the
contribution we make to the health of consumers by providing foods
that are not only safe but essential for good health.”
"With this unprecedented, collaborative effort among industry
members, academic experts and government, the fresh produce industry
has made important strides in food safety,” said David Gombas, Ph.D.,
vice president of technical services for IFPA. “We believe the
development of these safe handling practices represents notable
progress toward our goal of zero illnesses, and we will continue to
work as a united industry to reach that target.”
"This first edition of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidance is
an important part of a comprehensive approach to further enhancing
the safety of the food supply,” said Hank Giclas, WG vice president,
science and technology. Our trade associations are also collaborating
to improve communication between government and industry food safety
experts, bring meaningful education and outreach to the industry and
support research to improve food safety. The guidelines are a living,
breathing document and will be updated periodically to reflect
changing industry practice or new scientific knowledge.”
The document, Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the
Lettuce and Leafy Greens Supply Chain, is available at www.fresh-
cuts.org, www.pma.com, www.uffva.org and www.wga.com the respective
websites of IFPA, PMA, United and WG.

http://www.uffva.org/PDF/lettuceguidancedocument.pdf