March 28, 2019: Discussions today during a meeting of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) continue to address required water standards, particularly those related to use of surface waters. The LGMA is committed to strengthening its required food safety practices for its members who produce 99% of the leafy greens grown in California. This is an important step and means that change is coming soon.
For the past three months, the leafy greens industries in California and Arizona have been developing new water guidelines. It is the consensus of this group that using untreated surface waters for overhead irrigation during the final weeks of production presents an elevated risk. Changes to the LGMA’s required food safety practices (metrics) to reduce this risk are being developed with input from food safety scientists and several LGMA member companies.
The LGMA will make an announcement with specifics about the new metrics once the new requirements are adopted (likely in the next four to six weeks).
Once accepted, the new metrics will be shared with the industry and they will become part of the mandatory government audits that are part of the LGMA food safety system. The LGMA will also begin an education and outreach effort to ensure all members of the leafy greens community understand how to comply with the new standards