Audits Continue During Shutdown
Horsfall, CEO of the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing
Agreement (LGMA), blogged that in light
of the current federal government shut-down, “We want to ensure our customers
and consumers that government food safety audits on leafy greens farms continue
LGMA auditors are not direct
employees of the federal government; rather they are certified and licensed by
the United States Department of Food and Agriculture, and they operate with
oversight from the state department of agriculture in California. The audit
program is fully funded by the leafy greens community through mandatory
government assessments and is not reliant on tax dollars.
partnership is, according to LGMA, the best model for food safety because it is
a system in which industry and government work together to ensure safe food.
The leafy greens industry works with scientists and food safety experts in a
transparent process to develop science-based food safety standards, or metrics.
The government then works independently to ensure these practices are followed
The program requires handlers
to be 100 percent in compliance with required standards. The handlers
must correct any issued citations or face decertification from the program,
resulting in loss of business. The end result is a system that drives
continuous improvement with real penalties for non-compliance, provided at
approximately 1 cent per box for leafy greens handlers.
As federal government
agencies continue to struggle with funding the Food Safety Modernization Act,
consumers continue to enjoy leafy greens grown under a system of mandatory
government inspection. And the LGMA will continue to operate through the shutdown
as it has since 2007.
Scott Horsfall, CEO, LGMA
Labels: LGMA audits, LGMA Audits Continue During Shutdown, LGMA preserves food safety, LGMA shut-down, Public-Private Partnership Preserves Food safety