Produce Marketing Association

On June 4, 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m., the Central Valley Food Safety Committee, in partnership with the College of the Sequoias Training Resource Center, is offering a free hybrid meeting for food safety professionals and consultants. The event will be located at the Visalia Convention Center and Live Streamed. 

Bob Whitaker will present his recent series of articles entitled “The Future of Produce Safety: Of This I am Certain . . .” The presentation is the kickoff presentation of a USDA grant awarded to the College of the Sequoias to promote Produce (Food) Safety in the San Joaquin Valley.

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Continue Reading Free food safety session — The Future of Produce Safety: Of This I am Certain . . .

Major players like the Produce Marketing Association, the United Fresh Produce Association, and  Western Growers went on record in support of new organic regulations just before an official comment period ended on Oct. 5. Advancing to the final rule writing phase also appears to have the support of the broader organic community.

USDA’s  Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to amend the organic regulations, saying the agency needs to strengthen oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic agricultural products. 

Amendments are to protect integrity in the organic supply chain and build consumer and industry trust in
Continue Reading USDA collects comments on organic changes, moving on to final rule

Commentary

It’s Dec. 24, do you know where your name is?

Here at Food Safety News we’ve been checking the year-end Naughty & Nice Lists and we’re ready to nominate some names. When it comes to candy or coal, one thing is as sure as Santa’s annual review — every year has its share of sugar plums as well as plum pits, and 2019’s been no different in that regard.

Some entries on our lists can be considered as representative of countless others.

For example, legislators on our Nice List are but a small sample of elected officials who are
Continue Reading We checked it twice: The good, the bad and on the bubble

Contributed
Editor’s note: Trevor Suslow, currently vice president for Produce Safety at the Produce Marketing Association and formerly with the University of California-Davis where he did extensive research with postharvest produce and freshcut produce,  wrote this letter to members of the fresh produce industry earlier this week. It is reprinted here with his permission.

Hello Science & Technology Community, 

Please find below an update on the Romaine Outbreak and Recall Advisory. 
 
Late into last Friday night, PMA, United Fresh and other trade associations worked hard to get clarifications of the FDA and CDC notifications about the Romaine outbreak and recall.


Continue Reading Romaine confusion and clarity from the produce industry perspective

Along with feedlot dust blowing in the wind and surface irrigation water flowing adjacent to feedlots, flies captured in leafy greens plots near feedlots are capable of transferring E. coli from animal operations to produce fields.

Set for publication in August in the “Journal of Food Protection,” new research from a team of experts links contamination of leafy greens with E. coli from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also referred to as feedlots, via “pest flies.”  

“Most fly isolates were the same predominant pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types found in feedlot surface manure and leafy greens, suggesting a possible role for
Continue Reading Researchers confirm flies can transfer E. coli from feedlots to produce fields

Known in the food safety arena for his work in fresh produce research, Trevor Suslow has signed on as vice president of food safety for the Produce Marketing Association.

Suslow will start with the Newark, DE, non-profit in October, according to a news release from PMA. The move concludes a 23-year stint at the University of California-Davis for the plant pathologist and educator. He has led the university’s Postharvest Technology Center since 2016.

At PMA Suslow will again be working with Bob Whitaker, the association’s chief science and technology officer. The two worked together at DNA Plant Technology Inc., an
Continue Reading Renowned UC-Davis researcher Trevor Suslow joins PMA staff

Editor’s note: This is the third installment of a four-part series on how companies can use electronic record keeping to enhance food safety efforts. The series is sponsored by PAR Technologies.    

As companies transition from paper-based food safety records to digital platforms, managing the increased amount of data can become challenging, especially when passing it up and down the supply chain in a usable format. 

To view a larger version of this graphic, please click on the image.

“The challenges cut across sectors and actors: There are too many systems with too many formats,” says Drew
Continue Reading Now that you’ve got the data, what are you going to do with it?

An E. coli outbreak traced to chopped romaine lettuce has spread to another five states and public health officials are reporting a hospitalization rate of almost 60 percent, which is twice the usual rate.

There are 53 confirmed cases spread across 16 states, as of Wednesday’s update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 31 victims who have required hospitalization, five have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

To view a larger version of the map, please click on the image.

Both the CDC and the Food and
Continue Reading Unusually high percentage of E. coli victims hospitalized

Chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, AZ area is the likely source to date of this year’s only multistate E. coli O157: H7 outbreak, and it is not over.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta Friday updated their report on the 11-state outbreak involving 35 confirmed E. coli case with 22 hospitalizations. “At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified,” CDC’s new report says.

Naming the growing region, however, did bring a joint statement on the outbreak from the Produce Marketing Association, Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, California Leafy
Continue Reading Yuma area grew romaine lettuce that’s likely causing E. coli outbreak

A new food safety group for controlled-environmental agriculture will sprout in June in Chicago, according to leading CEA growers. “The intent is to establish food safety standards,” says a spokesman.

Brightfarms, AeroFarms and Little Leaf Farms are the controlled-environmental growers getting behind the new food safety group. The first meeting will be during the United Fresh 2018 Expos June 25-27 in Chicago.

Brightfarms, AeroFarms, and Little Leaf Farms are among the companies that have made the technology-based agriculture commercially viable. The three companies have formed a coalition to organize the new food safety group.

“The coalition’s exact structure will be
Continue Reading Growers form controlled-environment agriculture safety group