New LGMA Tech Training Video Unveiled

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement was pleased to be involved in a press event hosted earlier today by STOP Foodborne Illness, a non-profit health organization dedicated to the prevention of foodborne illness. The purpose of the event was to release a new video training tool that is now a part of our own LGMA Tech training program.

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The press event featured U.S. Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor who called this new video project a great example of the “spirit of partnership which characterizes today’s food safety landscape.”

The video is the result of a growing partnership the LGMA has built with STOP Foodborne Illness. Members of STOP who have been sickened in past foodborne illness outbreaks are featured in the new video.  They explain, in vivid detail, about their illnesses to illustrate why it is so important for workers on leafy greens farms to follow proper food safety practices.

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“Training is a critical tool in making sure everyone on our farms knows about and understands proper food safety practices,” said Ryan Talley, LGMA chairman who participated in today’s media event. “But in order to truly educate people and make real change, not only does everyone on the farm need to understand what to do, but they should also know why food safety is so important.”

Dierdre“Through this video, the voices of people impacted by foodborne illness will now be heard by those who work with leafy greens and are on the front lines of producing our food,” said Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP.  “We are very pleased to be a part of this important, groundbreaking project.”

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Featured prominently in the video is Dan Sutton, General Manager of Pismo-Oceano Vegetable Growers Exchange. As part of his work to ensure those who handle leafy greens on farms are adhering to proper food safety practices, Dan often shares the stories he has heard from people whose lives have been forever impacted by a foodborne illness.

lauren_bushOne of these people is Lauren Bush who, as a junior in college, ate a spinach salad that changed her life. Lauren recounts her story in the LGMA Tech training video to illustrate what can happen when things go wrong.  Bush notes in the video her increased confidence in leafy greens after learning about the LGMA program and the commitment of California’s leafy greens community to prevent illnesses.

And that was the real point of the press event, LGMA’s partnership with STOP, the video and the entire LGMA Tech training program – no one wants people to become sick from eating our products.

When the LGMA was formed in 2007, it was based on the vow California leafy greens farmers made to prevent tragic foodborne illness outbreaks.  It is what all of us at the LGMA work toward every day. The video produced with STOP is simply a reminder – and an emotional one – about why this is so important.

We hope that everyone in the leafy greens industry will take a moment to watch a shorter version of the training video for a glimpse of what this effort is all about.  More importantly, the LGMA has expanded its LGMA Tech training program to include a broader curriculum.  Everyone who handles leafy greens, or works with our product should attend the LGMA Tech workshops. The video featuring STOP Foodborne Illness representatives is already being shown as part of these workshops and is having tremendous impact on participants.  We are confident it will be another important tool to enhance the culture of food safety that exists on leafy greens farms.


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