Mandatory government food safety audits of leafy greens farms under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement are continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the process could soon be conducted remotely and with less paperwork. Western Growers (WG) and the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (CA LGMA), announced a new process developed through a collaboration with iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS), that streamlines all verification documents and data for online review by government auditors. The groups say this process will allow the execution of remote audits and has been reviewed and accepted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which has oversight of the LGMA programs and auditors.
“As an industry leader in produce safety, Western Growers remains committed to leading produce safety initiatives and solutions,” said Sonia Salas, WG assistant vice president of food safety, science & technology. “In a time where COVID-19 is testing all industries, this new auditing process will support food safety oversight during this pandemic.”
The system is now available to certified members of the LGMA who are audited an average of five times over the year.
“When the LGMA began in 2007, it was the first program of its kind in the nation. As we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances, the LGMA program continues to find innovative ways to move forward and achieve its objective of advancing food safety for leafy greens products,” said Scott Horsfall, Chief Executive Officer of the California LGMA. “This new auditing system is another example of the pioneering spirit of the LGMA and its commitment to find new and better ways to enhance the safety of leafy greens.”
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