Pre-harvest Testing to Reduce Outbreaks
Last month the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board endorsed new pre-harvest testing guidance in an effort to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with leafy greens. CEO Tim York says they’ve been working on pre-harvest testing for a while, and when they heard that the FDA report would be public soon mentioning cattle as a primary area of concern, they accelerated their work in this area.
York… “And so what we did was develop guidance for the industry that's around a risk base. So depending on the size of an animal operation, whether it's grazing land or it's a concentrated animal feeding operation, provide the growers guidance in terms of when pre harvest testing should take place. Knowing that there's different risks for different typography, you know, uphill downhill, down wind, up wind, you know, lots of different factors growing outdoors. But the idea was to provide growers some direction on pre-harvest testing, and really risk mitigation.”
York says this answers the what and the why questions, and their now working on answering the questions of when and how.
York… “We're working presently on protocols around that in conjunction with our partners at Western Growers, describing for growers exactly how to conduct that. When, how, and we've provided them the why and the guidance, but now we're really looking at how you actually conduct that test.”
Learn more on their website: https://lgma.ca.gov/.