Applauding Food Safety Efforts

New research results show that consumers’ response is overwhelmingly positive to food safety efforts recently undertaken by growers of leafy green products, like spinach and lettuce, to protect public health. The California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA) conducted a nationwide survey in late February to determine how consumers view the food safety efforts by the industry.

An impressive 89% of consumers had a favorable opinion when they were told about the food safety programs and mandatory government audits being implemented under the LGMA program. In addition, 70% of consumers said that their confidence in the overall safety of leafy green products increased after learning more about the LGMA food safety program.

The LGMA was formed in the spring of 2007. Operating with oversight from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the LGMA is a mechanism for verifying through mandatory government inspections that growers follow accepted food safety practices for lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens.

Although consumers reacted very positively to all elements of the program, they found the regular and random government audits mandated under the LGMA system especially reassuring, with 86% of consumers stating that this raised their level of confidence in leafy greens products. Almost 60% of consumers preferred these mandatory government audits to other inspection services, such as those conducted by private auditing companies.

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