Leafy greens salads

A new process looks set to streamline food safety audits on California’s leafy greens farms.

The audits, mandatory under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (CA LGMA), have continued during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new process, announced earlier this week by Western Growers (WG), has been developed through collaboration between industry and iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS). It streamlines all verification documents and data for online review by government auditors.

“As an industry leader in produce safety, Western Growers remains committed to leading produce safety initiatives and solutions,” said Sonia Salas, WG assistant vice president of food safety, science and technology. “In a time where Covid-19 is testing all industries, this new auditing process will support food safety oversight during this pandemic.”

The process will allow the execution of remote audits and has been reviewed and accepted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which has oversight of the LGMA programmes and auditors.

The system was developed over the past few weeks. It has been tested and is now available to certified members of the LGMA who are audited an average of five times over the year.

“We were able to use this new process in a real audit situation and it worked extremely well from start to finish,” said Sharan Lanini, director of food safety for Pacific International Marketing and chair of the LGMA’s technical committee. “This is a great development in the government audit process.”