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Food Safety: Industry Update

by Lulu Garcia |

With the production season getting into full swing, it’s important for organic producers to keep an eye on the food safety ball to ensure all your hard work doesn’t get stopped at home plate by a buyer unwilling to accept your product. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) commodity-specific and industry developed guidances are one way to help ensure your food safety plan is relevant to the crops you produce. As always, CCOF’s food safety staff and GLOBALG.A.P. certification program are here to assist producers with food safety. 

Updated LGMA Metrics

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) recently voted to strengthen food safety practices on farms producing leafy greens. One notable change is the requirement to treat surface waters for bacteria. Treatments available to organic producers can include chlorine and peracetic acid. Be sure to add these treatments to your OSP Materials List and get approval prior to applying them. As a reminder, residual chlorine levels in irrigation water must be at or below 4 ppm when applied to organic crops or soil. Visit for more details. 

Tomato Metrics (TGAP) by United Fresh Produce Association

United Fresh is seeking public comment on the 2019 revision of their Tomato Protocols. Currently the 2011 guidance documents are a resource for fresh tomato growers. The guidelines break down by production method: greenhouse, open field production and packing, packinghouse protocols, and repacking and distribution. If you grow or pack fresh tomatoes, visit and search for “Tomato Protocols.” 

FDA Draft Guidance for Produce – Small Entity Compliance Guide 

While only in draft form, this guidance can assist small producers with FSMA Produce Safety Rule compliance. Visit and search for “Produce Guidance.”

Other FDA Guidance Documents Address the Following Crops: 

  • Sprouts
  • Cantaloupes and netted melons 
  • Fresh culinary herbs
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cut produce
  • Wine grapes, pulse crops, and almonds
  • Potatoes
  • Pistachios and peanuts