Stakeholders within the produce industry have announced the formation of the Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force. The group’s goal is to “assess and address issues associated with recent foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to consumption of leafy greens and to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the future.”
The Task Force admits to having questions about why and how romaine lettuce became the source of the outbreak that was first announced April 10, 2018. The group plans to do what they can to ensure consumers that leafy greens are safe to eat. The leafy greens community shares a common goal to strengthen the way our food is grown, harvested and distributed. The purpose of this Task Force is to sharpen our food safety systems through the entire supply chain.
The Task Force includes representatives from:
- Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
- California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
- Produce Marketing Association
- United Fresh Produce Association
- Western Growers
- Growers, shippers, and processors from Arizona, California, and other production regions
- Produce industry and related trade associations
- State and local government agencies
- Scientists and researchers
- Consumer advocacy
- The buyer community
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will collaborate with the Task Force as technical and informational advisors. There is also a steering committee of 20 industry experts to keep the Task Force moving forward.