LGMA Webinar for Retail and Food Service Buyers
April 13, 2020|
Much is being done amid this COVID-19 crisis by our essential food and agricultural businesses. It appears that getting back to normal is a long way off for us all. And for those who grow, pack, buy or sell leafy greens, it feels like things haven’t been normal for a while.
Despite these difficult times, we want to assure everyone that food safety audits conducted through the LGMA are operating as close to normal as possible. Many produce safety inspections have been put on hold for the time being. But for leafy greens, it’s just not advisable to scale back on any effort designed to prevent outbreaks.
In truth, many of LGMA’s required food safety practices, particularly those involving human hygiene, are exactly what the doctors are ordering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A culture of food safety that goes far beyond regular hand-washing and sanitizing of equipment, is well established among leafy greens farming operations. And that is a very good thing.
Audits conducted by California Department of Food and Agriculture are also an important part of the LGMA food safety culture. As always, LGMA member companies will be audited an average of five times this year to verify required food safety practices are being followed on farms.
The LGMA is working with CDFA to offer solutions that allow for enhanced social distancing during audits. This will likely include the ability for required documentation to be submitted remotely instead of auditors visiting each LGMA member’s office to interface directly with staff.
The current LGMA audit practices will be more fully explained during a series of webinars being offered by the LGMA this week. But that’s not the sole purpose of these important webinars. Because the LGMA’s efforts to improve the safety of leafy greens must go on – even in the midst of a pandemic.
A lot is happening that we want to share with you. LGMA Subcommittees are meeting regularly to review all facets of our required food safety practices. The subcommittee dealing with water used in growing leafy greens has completed its review of the current LGMA required practices. They are recommending over 30 updates to strengthen these practices. We’ll share them with you during this week’s webinars and discuss how other stakeholders can get involved as part of an inclusive process being facilitated by Western Growers.
This is important this work. We know your schedules are hectic and a lot is already on your minds, but we hope you’ll take 60 minutes to learn how the industry is working together to improve safety. More importantly, we hope you’ll engage as part of our leafy greens community.