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
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Regulations
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Food Safety
March 10, 2017
Strawberries, Spinach Top Latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ List
Industry groups dispute annual report, noting any report that has the effect of decreasing Americans’ fruit and vegetable intake is injurious to their health. Read More
Cucurbits
March 8, 2017
How Steam Helps Remove Pathogens on Cantaloupes
The technique also may effectively sanitize watermelons, honeydews, cucumbers, and baby carrots. Read More
Food Safety Modernization Act moving at snail's pace
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping Forward
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Food Safety
January 26, 2017
Crop Advisers Should Help Growers with Onerous Ag-Water Mandates
Crop advisers need to step up to the plate and help growers comply with Food Safety Modernization Act – especially onerous ag water mandates. Read More
Farm Management
January 10, 2017
FSMA Training Available in Colorado
To be in compliance with the FDA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food rule, be sure farm personnel completes the required training. Read More
James Weaver of Meadow View Farm
Citrus
January 1, 2017
FSMA Training Strategy Available
Aid to help growers understand role in new food safety rules released. Read More
Food Safety
November 21, 2016
New Study Shows Pre-Cut Salad Fosters Growth Of Salmonella
A new study shows minimal damage to salad leaves in bagged salads stimulate the presence of Salmonella enterica. Read More
Citrus
November 2, 2016
FDA Releases Preventative Controls Guidance For Small Businesses
Compliance information available for small and very small businesses. Read More
western food for safety and security course
Farm Management
October 19, 2016
The Center For Produce Safety Funds 10 New Research Projects
The funding is for critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices for fruits and vegetables. Read More
multiple hands holding a plate full of veggies
Food Safety
October 4, 2016
FDA Awards More Than $11 Million To California For Food Safety 
To secure the funding, states were asked to submit implementation proposals. Read More
Citrus
September 20, 2016
Preventative Control Rules Now In Effect For Large Businesses
Facilities employing 500 or more people must meet new standards. Read More
multiple hands holding a plate full of veggies
Farm Management
September 19, 2016
PMA, United Fresh Establish Joint Working Group On Listeria Monocytogenes
The joint effort will result in greater efficiency and a more meaningful impact within the fresh produce industry. Read More
Citrus
September 12, 2016
FDA Allocates $21.8M To Help States Comply With The Produce Safety Rule
Funding has been awarded to assist 42 states with implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More
Citrus
September 2, 2016
New Tool Helps Growers Understand FSMA Responsibly
FSMA Wizard helps food facilities, importers, and growers to determine their possible requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More
The Latest
Food Safety
April 12, 2017
No Need for Hysteria Over Reports of Lis…
A recent Purdue study says current food safety practices aren't killing listeria in romaine lettuce tissue. Rutger's Richard VanVranken says the report isn't as alarming as it sounds. Read More
Farm Management
April 12, 2017
Take the Stress out of Food Safety Insp…
Buurma Farms has a low-tech, common sense system in place that keeps its produce as safe as possible, and makes passing inspections easy. Read More
Business Planning
March 22, 2017
How HortTech Is Solving Grower Challenge…
Dozens of tech companies are looking for solutions to real-world problems vegetable growers face. We take a look at what it could really mean for you and your business. Read More
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Re…
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Food Safety
March 10, 2017
Strawberries, Spinach Top Latest ‘…
Industry groups dispute annual report, noting any report that has the effect of decreasing Americans’ fruit and vegetable intake is injurious to their health. Read More
Cucurbits
March 8, 2017
How Steam Helps Remove Pathogens on Cant…
The technique also may effectively sanitize watermelons, honeydews, cucumbers, and baby carrots. Read More
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping F…
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Food Safety
January 26, 2017
Crop Advisers Should Help Growers with …
Crop advisers need to step up to the plate and help growers comply with Food Safety Modernization Act – especially onerous ag water mandates. Read More
Farm Management
January 10, 2017
FSMA Training Available in Colorado
To be in compliance with the FDA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food rule, be sure farm personnel completes the required training. Read More
Citrus
January 1, 2017
FSMA Training Strategy Available
Aid to help growers understand role in new food safety rules released. Read More
Food Safety
November 21, 2016
New Study Shows Pre-Cut Salad Fosters Gr…
A new study shows minimal damage to salad leaves in bagged salads stimulate the presence of Salmonella enterica. Read More
Citrus
November 2, 2016
FDA Releases Preventative Controls Guida…
Compliance information available for small and very small businesses. Read More
Farm Management
October 19, 2016
The Center For Produce Safety Funds 10 N…
The funding is for critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices for fruits and vegetables. Read More
Food Safety
October 4, 2016
FDA Awards More Than $11 Million To Cali…
To secure the funding, states were asked to submit implementation proposals. Read More
Citrus
September 20, 2016
Preventative Control Rules Now In Effect…
Facilities employing 500 or more people must meet new standards. Read More
Farm Management
September 19, 2016
PMA, United Fresh Establish Joint Workin…
The joint effort will result in greater efficiency and a more meaningful impact within the fresh produce industry. Read More
Citrus
September 12, 2016
FDA Allocates $21.8M To Help States Comp…
Funding has been awarded to assist 42 states with implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More
Citrus
September 2, 2016
New Tool Helps Growers Understand FSMA R…
FSMA Wizard helps food facilities, importers, and growers to determine their possible requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More