LGMA’s Top 5 List for 2015
It’s the time of year when many of us reflect on the what has been accomplished during the last twelve months. Below is a list of five LGMA highlights from 2015.
- Positive Numbers Illustrate Continuous Improvement
Leading the list is the continuous improvement of LGMA members as demonstrated in our Annual Report. The number of audit citations issued has been falling since the inception of the LGMA in 2007. The number of audit citations issued is now down to less than one citation per audit. It’s our belief that this success is due to the thorough training, frequent audits and required compliance unique to the LGMA program. You can get a summary of the report here.
- FDA Finalizes Food Safety Laws for the Farm
In November, after years of work, the FDA issued the final Produce Rule, a new law under the Food Safety Modernization Act. This is an important event for everyone in the produce industry. The LGMA has reviewed the new rule and will be working to ensure our program aligns with it. We believe the LGMA can play a role in verifying compliance with FSMA for California leafy greens. There is much more to come about the rule and the LGMA’s role in 2016 follow our blog for more information.
- Chick-fil-A Talks Food Safety
Dr. Steven Lyon, manager of Supply Chain Safety at Chick-fil-A shared some of his thoughts on food safety with us. In the video he explains that Chick-fil-A requires LGMA certification for all their leafy greens suppliers. We were pleasantly surprised to hear him state that the LGMA “helps him sleep better at night.” Further, Lyon’s had this to say: “What’s critical for us is that we find a program like the LGMA that uses academia, local government as well as industry buy-in and has them tie it all together so we ensure, literally, from farm to the back door of the restaurant that items are produced safely.” If you haven’t already seen this video, check it out here.
- Handwashing Goes High Tech
In October of 2015, the LGMA launched its first iTunes App. This great new tool trains field workers on how to properly wash their hands while on the job. Handwashing is one of the most critical food safety practices used by workers in food production. It’s the first line of defense in protecting our food. While handwashing may seem like a simple task, a quick soak or wetting of hands without using soap is not good enough to remove microbes. To do the job right, there are six basic steps to follow. You can download the app here.
- LGMA Tech Trains the Trainer
Throughout 2015 the LGMA has been expanding and refining its LGMA Tech program which provides food safety training for people, like supervisors, who train others within their companies. LGMA Tech coordinates with Arizona LGMA’s training programs that focus heavily on field-level worker training. Together these programs standardize training for workers who produce over 90% of U.S. grown leafy greens. To effectively protect public health, there needs to be constant training for these workers, in both English and Spanish, so they know what they’re supposed to do and why it’s so important. Find out more about the six courses offered under the LGMA Tech program.
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!