The 2015/16 California Leafy Greens Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA) Report provides a detailed analysis of audits conducted, along with citations issued. LGMA audits are mandatory and are conducted by State of California auditors who verify that science-based food safety practices are implemented on the farm.
LGMA members are audited, on average, five times annually. Each audit includes a total of 185 checkpoints. When an auditor finds that a checkpoint is not in compliance with LGMA requirements, the member is then issued a citation. A correction of the citation is required, with the objective of achieving a mandatory 100 percent score.
Here are a few highlights from LGMA’s 2015/16 report:
- A total of 470 audits were conducted (vs. 467 audits last year)
- There were 385 citations in this year’s report, compared to 370 last year.
- The number of citations has steadily declined over the years. In the 2008/09 report, there was an average of 2.4 citations per audit. Since 2004, that number has remained steady at 0.8 citations per audit.
- On average, LGMA members received less than 1 citation per audit.
- On average, LGMA members are in compliance with 99.5 percent of the 185 checkpoints audited.
According to LGMA, the increase in the number of citations is actually positive news.
“This year, we asked our Compliance Officer – Jonathan Field – to take a harder look at some of the infractions that could be avoided with better training. Whenever appropriate, Jon took what was once a Minor Infraction that could be corrected in the field and moved it up to a Minor Deviation, which requires handlers to demonstrate they had provided additional training to correct the problem.
As a result, we saw more citations in the Minor Deviation category. We believe this will help us to continue to drive improvement in the industry and through training we’re working to correct problems permanently.”
View the entire annual report at LGMA.ca.gov.