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Arizona LGMA updates food-safety standards

The Arizona LGMA Food Safety Committee has approved multiple changes to the food-safety standards (also known as metrics) that all Arizona LGMA members must adhere to. The changes went into effect Sept. 16, and Arizona Department of Food & Agriculture auditors will begin verifying compliance in November when harvest starts for the 2022-23 season.

“The Arizona leafy greens farming community works continuously to protect public health. These changes will impact more than 9 billion servings of lettuce produced by Arizona farmers this winter,” said C.R. Waters, Arizona LGMA chairman.

    “Arizona LGMA empowers the leafy greens industry with tools to advance food safety,” said Teressa Lopez, Arizona LGMA program administrator. “Training materials and event registration will be available at www.arizonaleafygreens.org/food-safety-training.”

    The updated best practices and a copy of the document with tracked changes can be found here: https://www.arizonaleafygreens.org/guidelines.

    The changes include:

    • New Glossary Terms for risk and root cause analysis
    • Minor editorial changes throughout
    • Issue 4: Personnel Qualification and Training
      • Training requirements for those who conduct environmental hazard/risk assessments
    • Issue 5: Environmental Assessments
      • Table 0: Updated to align buffer distances to California LGMA
      • New Pre-Harvest Product Testing SOP requirements
    • Issue 8 through Issue 14: Are reorganized to better align specific, food-safety best practices to on-farm production, handling and harvest practices.
    • Issue 18: References have been updated to include current and available documents.

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