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  • April Ward

No FDA Surveillance Sampling of Leafy Greens for Yuma, Arizona’s 2021/2022 Season

On September 28, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition communicated that it does not plan to conduct surveillance sampling of leafy greens at Yuma, Arizona coolers during the upcoming 2021/2022 growing season. Three factors helped FDA come to this decision:

  • The Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and Arizona LGMA have established an open dialogue with FDA staff to ensure that they understand how the LGMA food safety guidelines have been updated and implemented, how the Arizona Department of Agriculture conducts food safety audits and how individual companies who are members of the LGMA institute corrective actions for any food safety violations.

  • Data from the last three years of FDA’s Microbiological Surveillance Sampling.

  • FDA has an ongoing longitudinal study working in the Yuma area alongside the University of Arizona and Industry to identify potential food safety issues in the environment.

FDA also shared that although there is no planned cooler sampling for Yuma, there could be “for cause” sampling in the area if any food safety issues arise.

The Arizona LGMA and the Yuma farming community welcome this news. Knowing that FDA has assessed the LGMA food safety program and has confidence in the efforts of Arizona LGMA members is validation of years of hard work by everyone in the industry. However, this news also serves as a reminder to everyone in the farming community to maintain exceptional food safety practices that keep consumers safe and ensure the integrity of leafy greens grown, harvested and shipped from the Yuma area.

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