Thursday, Western Growers released the “Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production, Harvest, Post-Harvest, and Processing Unit Operations of Fresh Culinary Herbs.” It was developed by fresh culinary herbs industry members, regulatory agencies, the academic community as well as other interested parties with the common goal of providing best practices to enhance the safety of fresh culinary herbs.
In April, 2011 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made public a guidance letter to firms that grow, harvest, sort, pack, or ship fresh cilantro. In this letter, FDA officials recommended that this produce industry segment take action to enhance the safety of these products. Considering this development, Western Growers facilitated dialog among members of this produce industry segment, which later in 2011, resulted in an initiative aimed at developing commodity-specific guidelines for fresh culinary herbs as opposed to cilantro only. After a little more than 18 months of hard work, several industry discussions, technical and editorial reviews, the document is available for use and dissemination.
This industry effort was facilitated by Western Growers and supported by the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association. It is based on online work sessions and the already existing commodity specific guidelines for green onions as a starting point. To access this document, click here. If you have any questions, contact WG’s Sonia Salas at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 949-885-2251
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