Arizona leafy greens season starts now
The Arizona LGMA Food Safety Committee approved changes to the adjacent land use and soil amendments sections of the food safety best practices (also known as metrics) that all members must adhere to. The changes will go into effect immediately, and Arizona Department of Food and Agriculture auditors will begin verifying compliance in November when harvest starts for the 2021-22 season. The Arizona LGMA also announced support for leafy green shippers, growers and harvest crews through training events and online resources.
“The changes to the food-safety guidelines for our upcoming growing season represent the Arizona growing community’s commitment to keeping consumers safe. Today we approved changes that our members will be using in their operations to supply the nation with leafy green vegetables this winter,” said C.R. Waters, Arizona LGMA chairman.
The changes to the food safety best practices include:
- A detailed assessment evaluating risk levels is required for adjacent lands
- Pre-harvest testing is required when risk assessments deem it necessary
- A new approach to soil amendments and crop inputs — includes new categories and incorporates a risk-based approach
The updated best practices and a copy of the document with tracked changes can be found here.
“Change is never easy,” said Teressa Lopez, Arizona LGMA program administrator. “That is why we are supporting our members with a multitude of training and education sessions in the Yuma region in August and September. We are also providing our award-winning food safety kit digitally on our website so anyone can access it at any time. Training materials and event registration are available at www.arizonaleafygreens.org/food-safety-training.”