Following a year of collaboration with dry bulb onion industry members, researchers, and government officials, the National Onion Association (NOA) and the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) have announced the release of the second edition of Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Dry Bulb Onion Supply Chain. The U.S. dry bulb onion industry established its original food safety framework and guidance document in 2010. The updated document takes into account new scientific findings and the evolution in onion production and handling practices across the U.S. According to NOA, the document represents the industry’s best science, practices, and intentions to instill confidence in consumers that U.S. onions are safe and sustainable.
In July 2021, IFPA, in collaboration with NOA, convened a working group that met routinely over the course of eight months to provide clarity and context within the greater goals of public health for fresh produce. According to IFPA, incorporating onion-specific details and updating scientific literature will help support not only U.S. onion growers and packers in building and maintaining their food safety programs, but will also educate other individuals working within the onion supply chain including regulators, auditors, and produce buyers who may not be as familiar with onion production and handling practices. Additionally, although the document was developed by the U.S. dry bulb onion industry, its fundamentals are broadly applicable, and the document can be adapted for production in other growing regions.
On October 18, 2022 at 2 P.M. Eastern Time, NOA and IFPA, along with Extension professionals engaged in food safety research for onion production and handling, will host a webinar to share highlights of the new best practices document and next steps in food safety education, outreach, and research needs for the dry bulb onion industry. The webinar is free to attend and open to the public. For more information or to access the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Dry Bulb Onion Supply Chain, visit the IFPA or NOA websites.