The California LGMA Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production and Harvest of Lettuce and Leafy Greens. Also called Standards or Metrics.
Food Safety Program
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 leafy greens farming community 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 Standards, or Metrics, are updated periodically according to new science.
The LGMA food safety program uses government audits and requires 100% compliance. The program was designed with a set of checks and balances to ensure leafy greens farmers do all they can to protect public health by establishing a culture of food safety on the farm. See the audit checklist in our resources section below.
Continuous improvement through training and education is a top priority for the LGMA; we require and facilitate training for leafy green shippers, growers and harvest crews throughout California.
Food Safety Standards
The current version of the CA LGMA Food Safety Standards (or metrics) - dated August 2, 2021.
Food safety resources for leafy green shippers, growers and harvesters
The food safety practices cover several areas, including:
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.
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.
Extensive testing and record-keeping for all sources of water used in the production of leafy greens are required.
Extensive testing, certification and record keeping for soil amendments, including compost and fertilizers, are required by the program.
Work Practices and Field Operations
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.
FSMA Produce Safety Rule Compliant
LGMA certification equals Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (PSR) compliance. In August of 2017, the LGMA programs in California and Arizona updated their food safety practices to meet or exceed PSR requirements. Since January of 2018, every LGMA audit that is conducted verifies that member companies are in compliance with PSR.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture, who conducts California LGMA audits, also conducts PSR verification audits for FDA. CFDA is recognizing leafy greens farms who have met requirements for certification under the LGMA as compliant with the Produce Safety Rule.