The controlled environment agriculture (CEA) Food Safety Coalition (FSC) recently announced the first-ever food safety certification program specifically for indoor-grown leafy greens.
New members to the industry coalition can choose to be assessed for the CEA Leafy Greens Module, and will be able to use the CEA food-safe seal on certified product packaging upon successful completion. The CEA Leafy Greens Module allows CEA growers to distinguish produce grown indoors while ensuring the highest standard of quality and compliance is achieved.
The CEA FSC is composed of leaders in the controlled environment agriculture industry. It was founded in 2019 to distinguish CEA-produced greens from field-grown greens that have been front and center in many recalls. The coalition works to educate the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the limited risk of contamination for indoor-produced leafy greens. These actions help ensure that CEA-produced leafy greens remain on store shelves during lettuce recalls, say coalition leaders.
The CEA Leafy Greens Module is measured against science-based criteria and is an add-on to existing compliance with underlying Global Food Safety Initiative-recognized food safety standards.
With controlled environment agriculture, a technology-based approach is used to produce optimal growing conditions inside controlled environments such as greenhouses and indoor vertical farms. Plants are grown year-round using hydroponic, aeroponic, or aquaponic methods, and no pesticides are needed. The crops are not affected by climate or weather and are safe from animal and bird intrusions.
More about the FSC's certification and auditing process can be found here.