Sep 19, 2020Arizona leafy greens’ group OK’s new water and field metrics
The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (Arizona LGMA) Food Safety Committee announced approved new changes to the “Commodity Specific Food and Safety Guidelines for the Production and Harvest of Lettuce and Leafy Greens” as the 2020-2021 growing season approaches.
Effective as of August 18, the comprehensive guidelines, known as the Metrics, are implemented by leafy greens shippers in Arizona to deliver safe produce across the United States.
Members of the Arizona LGMA Technical Subcommittee worked in conjunction with the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (California LGMA) and the Western Growers Association to identify and incorporate the changes. The Arizona LGMA Technical Subcommittee is comprised of a seven-member committee which met jointly over the course of 11 meetings and more than 21 hours to redefine the best practices for water and field sanitation standards.
“The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement remains committed to ensuring that practices and metrics reflect our current scientific knowledge and contribute to continuous improvement in our food safety systems,” said Vicki-Lynne Scott, Technical Assistant for Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
This year’s changes mark the 13th iteration of the Metrics. The updates, related to water standards, will impact everything from furrow irrigation, drip tape and the management of irrigation water systems. Further, the metrics will require enhanced water sampling preventing risks for contaminations. While in the field, the revisions are designed to mitigate potential risks related to contaminants and pathogens requiring more stringent processes for cleaning and sanitization of equipment.
The Arizona Leafy Greens is a consortium of shippers of Arizona leafy greens that have put in place protective controls to ensure the integrity of leafy greens products grown, harvested, and shipped from Arizona. Arizona Leafy Greens is a volunteer network of growers and shippers that proactively diffuse potential issues through an intricate system of checks and balances. The program is administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture and closely monitored by USDA-licensed auditors.
More information is at arizonaleafygreens.org.