PHOENIX, AZ – The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (AZ LGMA) is advancing food safety in the sector by enacting multiple changes to its standards that all of its members must adhere to. These changes went into effect September 16, 2022, and Arizona Department of Food and Agriculture auditors will start verifying compliance in November for the 2022/2023 growing season.
“The Arizona leafy greens farming community works continuously to protect public health. These changes will impact more than 9 billion servings of lettuce produced by Arizona farmers this winter,” said C.R. Waters, Arizona LGMA Chairman.
According to a recent release, changes to these standards include:
- New Glossary Terms for risk and root cause analysis
- Minor editorial changes throughout
- Issue 4: Personnel Qualification and Training
- Training requirements for those who conduct environmental hazard/risk assessments
- Issue 5: Environmental Assessments
- Table 0: Updated to align buffer distances to California LGMA
- New Pre-Harvest Product Testing SOP requirements
- Issue 8 through Issue 14: Are reorganized to better align specific, food safety best practices to on-farm production, handling, and harvest practices
- Issue 18: References have been updated to include current and available documents
Teressa Lopez, Arizona LGMA Program Administrator, also commented on this recent update.
“Arizona LGMA empowers the leafy greens industry with tools to advance food safety,” said Lopez. “Training materials and event registration will be available at www.arizonaleafygreens.org/food-safety-training.”