Food Safety Practices

LGMA Food Safety Practices

At the heart of the LGMA is a set of food safety practices that are implemented on leafy greens farms and verified through government audit. Working with University and industry scientists, food safety experts, government officials, farmers, shippers and processors, the LGMA created this unique science-based food safety system to protect public health by reducing potential sources of contamination and establishes a culture of food safety on the farm.

The LGMA food safety practices, or Metrics, are updated periodically according to new science. Most recently, the Metrics were updated to fully align with the federal Produce Safety Rule (PSR). The latest version of the Metrics can be found in the downloads section below.

About the LGMA Food Safety Program

On April 19, 2019, the CA LGMA accepted changes to the Water section of the Metrics. The new Metrics are included as indicated below. The Audit Checklist and relevant appendices, including Appendices A and C, are also being updated and will be posted soon.

Food Safety Downloads

LGMA Food Safety Practices (Accepted April 19, 2019)

4/19/2019 Download PDF

LGMA Accepted Food Safety Practices (Effective September 28, 2018)

9/28/2018 Download PDF

Appendix A: Water Sanitary Survey

6/6/2007 Download PDF

Appendix B: Technical Basis Document

4/18/2007 Download PDF

Appendix C: Product Testing Protocol

Download PDF

Appendix F - Considerations for Assessing Environmental Weather Conditions

10/26/2018 Download PDF

Appendix G - Considerations for Growing LGs Near CAFOs

10/26/2018 Download PDF

Appendix X: Guidance for Soil Collection for Cadmium Analysis

1/29/2016 Download PDF

Appendix Y: Guidance for Developing Best Management Practices to Reduce Cadmium Uptake by Spinach

1/29/2016 Download PDF

Appendix Z: CA Resource Agency Contacts

Download PDF

Food Safety Assessment Form (with CAFO and Weather Considerations)

Download PDF

Sample SOP Pre-Harvest Assessment (Weather)

Download PDF

Sample SOP Pre-Season + Pre-Harvest Assessment (CAFOs)

Download PDF

Decision Tree: Accessing Animal Activity in the Field

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Decision Tree: Evaluaciones Ambientales Actividad De Los Animales En El Campo

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Decision Tree: Assessing Water Quality

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Decision Tree: Evaluación Pre-Cosecha De La Calidad Del Agua

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Decision Tree: Soil Fertility

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Fact Sheet: Flooding

1/3/2017 Download PDF

Audit Checklist Downloads

Compliance Audit Checklist

11/2/2018 Download PDF

Unannouced Audit Checklist

4/1/2018 Download PDF

The food safety practices cover several areas, including:

1.General Requirements

Member companies are required to have a complete food safety compliance plan, an up-to-date
list of growers, and a written trace back program.

2.Environmental Assessments

Pre-season and pre-harvest assessments are required to make sure conditions that can affect food safety, such as animal intrusions, flooding, proximity to animal feeding operations, etc. are not present, or have been properly mitigated.

3.Water Use

Extensive testing and record-keeping for all sources of water used in the production of leafy greens is required.

4.Soil Amendments

Extensive testing, certification and record keeping for soil amendments, including compost and fertilizers, are required by the program.


Field audits verify that farmers are in compliance with the program’s requirements in the areas of worker practices and field sanitation.

The LGMA food safety practices are grounded in the latest food safety science, and are updated as new research and information becomes available.