Traceability And Food Safety: Are You Prepared? [Opinion]

Richard Jones
Richard Jones
I was in Oklahoma for a family reunion last month. It was wonderful to reconnect with extended family members and even meet some others for the first time.

My job as an editor for a vegetable publication is always a great conversation starter in situations like this, because everyone has questions and opinions about produce. It was no different with my family.

As we enjoyed some delicious melon at breakfast one morning, the discussion turned almost immediately to food safety, and more specifically, the much-publicized Jensen Farms situation from last year. (If you were hoping the fallout from that would have settled by now, well, think again.)

I described the extensive programs that you as growers have in place to make sure the vegetables you’re selling are free from contamination. But inevitably, they can point to a big news story that makes them wonder whether it’s safe to eat the tomato, pepper, or cantaloupe they just bought. My aunts, uncles, and cousins have food safety on their minds.

And I know it’s on yours, too, as you stare down the barrel of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). We’re hearing now that the first wave of FSMA final rules should be rolling out in the fall, with further announcements coming over the next 12 to 18 months. We don’t know yet exactly how traceability will play a role, but rest assured that anything you can do to enhance your record keeping will help you in the long run.

Be sure to check out our story, 10 Traceability Tools. Many of you already have excellent systems to ensure the safety of your crop. But some of you probably still have some work to do to make sure your business is prepared and protected. That’s just as important as ensuring consumers are protected when they enjoy your produce.

My family will appreciate it, and I’ll have even more to share about how safe that breakfast melon is when I see them again next summer.

On another note, you may have noticed the recent updates to our website, GrowingProduce.com. We’re constantly experimenting and upgrading our offerings to more effectively deliver the content you need for your business, in an easier-to-read-and-use format.

Over the last several months, we have refashioned the site with a faster, more efficient platform and most recently, improved its organization to make it simpler to access the information you’re looking for. From feature stories and the latest news to image galleries and webcasts, we’re working hard to make GrowingProduce.com a valuable resource for your business. Please take a look around and let me know what you think.

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Food Safety Stories
Consumer Choices
Food Safety
April 5, 2016
GroupGAP Program Announced For Small, Mid-Size Growers
Food safety program designed to be affordable, demonstrate compliance. Read More
weed free watermelon field
Cucurbits
March 29, 2016
The National Watermelon Association’s Bob Morrissey Talks Food Safety
The association’s executive director answers questions on grower concerns, facilities, and the best course of action for watermelon growers to be in compliance with the law. Read More
Group of vegetables laid out on table
Farm Management
March 23, 2016
Vegetable Surfaces’ Microscopic Structures Contribute To Foodborne Illness
University of Illinois researchers studied the ability of pathogenic viruses to adhere to fresh produce surfaces. Read More
Packing carton of "Limited Edition" pole grown cucumbers recalled by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. (Photo credit: CDC)
Food Safety
March 22, 2016
CDC: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Imported Cucumbers Is Over
The Centers for Disease Control reports the source of contamination for the cucumbers distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has not been identified. Read More
Veggies outside
Food Safety
March 21, 2016
FDA Announces $19 Million In Funding To Support Implementation Of Produce Safety Rule
The funds will be used to help states establish safety standards, training, education and more. Read More
Part of a sustainable cropping system includes desiging fields to wrap around hilly terrain to limit runoff and soil erosion.  Photo credit: Rosemary Gordon
Food Safety
March 16, 2016
Western Growers Pledges $1 Million To The Campaign For Produce Safety
The commitment from Western Growers brings the total campaign funding for the Center for Produce Safety to more than $10 million. Read More
Pistachio recall
Food Safety
March 11, 2016
Pistachios Recalled Due To Possible Salmonella Risk
Limited number of in-shell and shelled nuts sold under Wonderful label. Read More
The Latest
Food Safety
April 21, 2016
It’s Your Duty To Challenge The &#…
The Environmental Working Group is at it again, making it critical for growers to keep customers informed about production practices and the safety of produce. Read More
Farm Management
April 19, 2016
Food Safety Training Grants Available
USDA announces $4.7 million available in grants for food safety training, outreach, and technical assistance. Read More
Food Safety
April 14, 2016
Produce Industry Cries Foul On Latest &#…
Alliance for Food and Farming says new number one a way to rattle cages of mainstream media. Read More
Food Safety
April 5, 2016
GroupGAP Program Announced For Small, Mi…
Food safety program designed to be affordable, demonstrate compliance. Read More
Cucurbits
March 29, 2016
The National Watermelon Association’s Bo…
The association’s executive director answers questions on grower concerns, facilities, and the best course of action for watermelon growers to be in compliance with the law. Read More
Farm Management
March 23, 2016
Vegetable Surfaces’ Microscopic St…
University of Illinois researchers studied the ability of pathogenic viruses to adhere to fresh produce surfaces. Read More
Food Safety
March 22, 2016
CDC: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Impor…
The Centers for Disease Control reports the source of contamination for the cucumbers distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has not been identified. Read More
Food Safety
March 21, 2016
FDA Announces $19 Million In Funding To …
The funds will be used to help states establish safety standards, training, education and more. Read More
Food Safety
March 16, 2016
Western Growers Pledges $1 Million To Th…
The commitment from Western Growers brings the total campaign funding for the Center for Produce Safety to more than $10 million. Read More
Food Safety
March 11, 2016
Pistachios Recalled Due To Possible Salm…
Limited number of in-shell and shelled nuts sold under Wonderful label. Read More
Food Safety
March 7, 2016
FDA Stops Farm From Processing, Packing …
Samples from Henry’s Farm in Virginia tested positive for Listeria. Read More
Farm Management
March 3, 2016
 FDA Seeks Public Comments On Assessi…
The agency plans to assess consumer health risk from the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops. Read More
Food Safety
February 20, 2016
Grant Awards To Fund Regional Centers Fo…
FDA announces funding for the second two of four Regional Centers: the North Central location and the Northeast Center. Read More
Farm Management
February 3, 2016
Western Growers Launches Tech Talk Serie…
Speakers from a variety of agricultural technology areas will make presentations on a variety of topics including drone/satellite imagery and food safety software. Read More
Farm Management
February 3, 2016
Hot Topics Tackled At Mid-Atlantic Fruit…
Food safety and GMOs were two of the topics discussed on the first day of the trade show and conference. Read More
Cucurbits
January 27, 2016
Imported Cucumbers Connected With Multis…
Since the Salmonella outbreak occurred in September, nearly 900 people in 39 states have fallen ill. Read More
Food Safety
January 25, 2016
Antimicrobial Wash Reduces Risk Of Patho…
The product is USDA certified organic and is expected to be used in commercial flumes and rinse tanks that wash fresh produce. Read More
Food Safety
January 22, 2016
Listeria Outbreak Linked To Packaged Sal…
Evidence points to processing facility in Springfield, OH. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]