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February 3, 2017

FDA Develops Guidance Documents in Collaboration with Western Growers

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition published a Constituent Update that discussed “How to Work with FDA on Food Guidance Documents.”

The update contained links to two documents on best practices for working with the agency to develop guidance documents for regional, industry or commodity specific food safety programs.

A case study and one such guidance document was the Food Safety Guidelines for Cantaloupes. In March 2013, Western Growers facilitated the development of this guidance document to convey the best practices for minimizing potential contamination during the growing, harvesting, packing, cooling, storage and transport of fresh, uncut cantaloupes and netted melons. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided technical advice and linked to the guidance document on, and the guidance has been widely used by produce organizations.

The 5 Steps and Case Study documents that were published by FDA were based on interviews with Western Growers and others who routinely engage FDA in industry developed programs and guidance. 

The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition program also develops documents that outline how best to comply with laws and regulations governing food, feed and other FDA-regulated products, and in many cases, these documents are based on existing documents previously developed by industry associations, such as Western Growers.

The FDA website currently links to seven industry guidance documents developed in collaboration with FDA. Western Growers and its members led in the development of five of the seven. You can read the guidance documents here.

To learn more about working with FDA on food guidance documents, visit the FDA website. Contact Hank Giclas at (949) 885-2205.