Food Safety: Industry Update

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Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »


Date Published: 
July 8, 2019
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FDA Draft Guidance for Produce – Small Entity Compliance Guide 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