The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (Arizona LGMA) Food Safety Committee has approved multiple changes to its food safety standards to which all Arizona LGMA members must adhere. The changes went into effect on September 16, 2022, and Arizona Department of Food and Agriculture auditors will begin verifying compliance in November when harvest starts for the 2022–2023 growing season.
Arizona LGMA reports that the changes will impact more than 9 billion servings of lettuce produced by Arizona farmers during the winter of 2022–2023. In addition to minor editorial revisions throughout and updated references, the changes include:
- New glossary terms for “risk analysis” and “root cause analysis”
- Issue 4: Personnel Qualification and Training: Training requirements for those who conduct environmental hazard/risk assessments
- Issue 5: Environmental Assessments: Table 0: Updated to align buffer distances to California LGMA, New Pre-Harvest Product Testing SOP requirements
- Issue 8—Issue 14 are reorganized to better align specific, food safety best practices to on-farm production, handling, and harvest practices.
The updated best practices and a copy of the document with tracked changes can be found on the Arizona LGMA website. Arizona LGMA is also providing training materials and event registration that can be accessed online.