From the seed to the consumer, we establish a culture of food safety in every aspect of our business. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) start in the field and continue through distribution. All of our employee training programs are built around producing safe food.
California Leafy Greens Products
Fourteen leafy green products are covered by the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA); they include: arugula, butter lettuce, chard, escarole, iceberg lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spinach, baby leaf lettuce, cabbage, endive, green leaf lettuce, kale, romaine lettuce, and spring mix.
At the heart of the LGMA program is the mandatory audit program that certifies member companies are implementing food safety practices developed by university and industry scientists, food safety experts, farmers, shippers and processors. These food safety practices were also reviewed by state and federal government health agencies. Member companies are required to have a complete food safety compliance plan, an up-to-date list of growers, and a written traceback program.
Pre-season and pre-harvest assessments are required to make sure conditions that can affect food safety, such as animal intrusions, flooding, proximity to animal feeding operations, etc. are not present, or have been properly mitigated.
Extensive testing and record keeping for all sources of water used in the production of leafy greens is required by the program.
Extensive testing, certification and record keeping for soil amendments, including compost and fertilizers, are required by the program.
Work Practices and Field Observations
Field audits verify that farmers are in compliance with the program’s requirements in the areas of worker practices and field sanitation.
By the time leafy green vegetables reach your kitchen, we have taken every action possible to assure their safety including regular government inspections. Even with a rigorous food safety program in place, it is important for consumers to take steps to maintain safety all the way to the table. Practicing safe-handling methods in the kitchen can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and keep your family healthy. For more information, visit http://www.safeleafygreens.com/ .
“The overriding objective of LGMA members is protecting public health by reducing potential sources of contamination in California-grown lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens products. Over 100 handlers representing approximately 99% of the volume of California lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens are members of the organization, committing themselves to handle and sell products grown in accordance with food safety practices accepted by the LGMA board. With the implementation of the mandatory government audits, California leafy greens are grown under a unique and rigorous system that has become a model for leafy greens farmers in other states.”