The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) Adopts New Food Safety Practices

After 2018 fall outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce, LGMA amended the agreement to include more food safety practices on farms. Scott Horsfall, CEO of the LGMA, said in a statement, “The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board of Directors has adopted additional requirements to reduce risk when it comes to water used in growing lettuce and leafy greens. This means that every box of leafy greens placed into commerce by a certified LGMA member will now be produced under new, more stringent requirements.”The contaminated irrigation water is perceived to be the cause of the outbreak. As a result, LGMA issued new regulations, which included daily equipment cleaning, review of the impact on crops after severe weather, traceability measures, and longer buffer zones between farm fields and animal feedlots. It will also require growers to categorize the source of the water, consider how and when the fields are irrigated, test irrigation water to see if it’s safe and sanitize the water if needed. And growers will no longer be able to use untreated surface water for overhead irrigation of these crops in the 21 days before harvest. The LGMA program also requires mandatory government audits of member farms. These new rules are above and beyond the FSMA rules. Growers in the Yuma, Arizona region have also made recommendations about growing leafy greens, improving traceability and increasing sanitation protocols. Increasing buffer zones between animal’s farms and produce fields is another recommended preventative measure, according to the Yuma Safe Produce Council. Time will tell if these new measures by the LGMA and the Yuma Safe Produce Council will be effective. @
After Romaine E. coli Outbreak, LGMA Adopts Food Safety Practices

After last year’s two romaine E. coli outbreaks, the LGMA is adopting new food safety practices to guide leafy greens farmers.

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