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  • Writer's pictureApril Ward

FDA and Partners in the Southwest Growing Region Share Findings from Multi-year Environmental Study

 Arizona LGMA applauds FDA, the University of Arizona, and industry partners for the recent completion of their multi-year environmental study of a Southwest growing region. 




 

This comprehensive study was conducted in the wake of the 2018 E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, with the goal of identifying information that can help us improve food safety practices and protect consumers. An initial report was shared with industry in May and a more detailed report will be shared at the International Association of Food Protection conference this July.


Arizona LGMA is a food safety program that works to protect public health by providing safe and healthy leafy greens and science-based data helps us continually improve. The information obtained in this study will help to validate the changes our industry has already made to address potential environmental factors, including: 

 

·         Seasonal Transition Guidance

·         Additional traceability requirements


Importance of Science

In response to this scientific study, Arizona LGMA will determine any additional changes that are necessary to update the current food safety standards. The Arizona LGMA has the ability to quickly update food safety standards and to train growers, shippers and harvesters to use these practices effectively on the farm.  


Peer Review and More Data to Come

Members of the Arizona leafy greens industry will be working through the Desert Food Safety Coalition to continue to explore the findings from this study and to improve the safety of food grown in this region. This group intends to collaborate with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, University of Arizona Extension, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, Yuma Safe Produce Council, Arizona Farm Bureau, Arizona Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (AZ LGMA), Western Growers, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association, additional grower and landowner coalition members and other agricultural community stakeholders.

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