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NOA and IFPA introduce food safety guidelines for onion supply chain

Dry bulb onion industry introduces updated food safety best practices document and announces webinar

Newark, De. and Washington, D.C. – After a year of collaboration with dry bulb onion industry members, researchers, and government officials, the National Onion Association (NOA) BB #:161204 and the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) BB #:153708 are pleased to announce the release of the second edition of Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Dry Bulb Onion Supply Chain.

“This document represents the best in our industry – the best science, the best practices, and the best intentions to instill confidence in all who eat onions that the U.S. dry bulb onion industry is committed to providing a safe, sustainable product,” said Greg Yielding, executive vice president and chief executive of the NOA.

The United States dry bulb onion industry established a food safety framework and guidance document in 2010. The updated document takes into account new scientific findings and the evolution in onion production and handling practices across the United States.

In July 2021, the IFPA, in collaboration with NOA, convened a working group who continued to meet in-person and remotely over the course of 8 months to provide clarity and context within the greater goals of public health for fresh produce.

“Incorporating specific details to onion production and updating scientific literature will help support not only U.S. onion growers and packers in building and maintaining their food safety programs, but also will educate other individuals working within the onion supply chain including regulators, auditors, and produce buyers who may not be as familiar with onion production and handling practices,” said Gretchen Wall, Director of Food Safety and Quality at IFPA, who organized the update.

“Although the document was developed by the U.S. dry bulb onion industry, the fundamentals are broadly applicable, and the document can be adapted for production in other growing regions.”

On July 7, 2020, Wall shared the final draft of the updated document with NOA members at the annual convention in Boise, ID and IFPA will continue to assist the onion industry with next steps.

“The first edition published in December 2010 was insightful and the updated document reflects a collaborative effort from all facets of the industry to best represent onion production and ensure that growers have access to the education necessary to minimize risks during growing, packing, and shipping,” said Kay Riley, former NOA president, member of the working group for both editions, and retired onion grower at Snake River Produce located in Nyssa, Oregon.

On October 18, 2022 from 2-3 PM ET, NOA and IFPA, along with Extension professionals engaged in food safety research for onion production and handling, will host a webinar to share highlights of the new best practices document and next steps in food safety education, outreach, and research needs for the dry bulb onion industry. The webinar is free to attend and open to the public. Register for the webinar.

For more information or to access the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Dry Bulb Onion Supply Chain visit the IFPA or NOA websites.

IFPA logoAbout the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to take action with purpose and confidence. While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational. Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective January 1, 2022.