Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force formed to prevent future outbreaks

Arizona and California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements, the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, Western Growers and other stakeholders in the produce industry are pleased to announce the formation of a Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force designed to assess and address issues associated with recent foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to consumption of leafy greens and to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the future.

Like many of you, we have questions about how romaine lettuce came to be the source of this recent outbreak. As families, farmers, and scientists who grow the food served at your tables and our own, we need to make sure that leafy greens are safe.

California and Arizona produce over 50 billion servings of leafy greens every year to American consumers.  The leafy greens community shares a common goal to strengthen the way our food is grown, harvested and distributed.  The purpose of this Task Force is to sharpen our food safety systems through the entire supply chain.

Leafy Greens Food Safety Taskforce

Taskforce Membership will include representatives of:

  • Growers from Arizona, California and other production regions
  • Shippers and processors from Arizona, California and other production regions
  • Produce industry and related trade associations
  • State and local government agencies
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Consumer advocacy
  • The buyer community

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be involved on a collaborative basis, serving as technical and informational advisors to the task force.

Today we are also announcing that a steering committee has been formed to facilitate the efforts of the Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force.  The Steering Committee will oversee the process and keep the efforts of the Task Force effort moving forward.

Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force Steering Committee

Steering Committee Co-Chairs:

Jerry Muldoon, Dole Fresh, Arizona

Steve Church, Church Brothers, California

Steering Committee Members

John Boelts, Desert Premium Farms

Mary Campbell, Yuma Safe Produce Council

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Center for Produce Safety

Ed Foster, Arizona Dept. of Agriculture

Hank Giclas/Sonia Salas, Western Growers

Scott Horsfall, California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement

Natalie Krout-Greenberg, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Teressa Lopez, Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement

Drew McDonald, Taylor Farms

Jennifer McEntire, United Fresh Produce Association

Vicki-Lynne Scott, Amigo Farms

Victor Smith, JV Smith Companies

Abby Taylor, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California

Michael Taylor, STOP Foodborne Illness

Shelly Tunis, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association

Jack Vessey, Vessey Farms

Kami Weddle, Rousseau Farms

Bob Whitaker, Produce Marketing Association

Federal agencies will be involved on a collaborative basis, serving as technical and informational advisors to the task force.

 


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