Food Safety Committee guides research

  • March 1st, 2013

The Pacific Northwest Food SafetyCommittee, an industry advisory group representing tree fruit growers, packers, and researchers, was organized in 2007 to guide the Northwest tree fruit industry and Northwest Horticultural Council on food safety issues.

Since its inception, the committee has worked with industry and university food safety experts and [...]

Certification not unique to produce

  • March 1st, 2013

Agriculture, with its various food safety and sustainable production standards now required by many retailers, is not the only industry subject to standards. Hundreds of national and international standards exist relating to all types of products from electrical three-prong plugs to paper sizes.

International standards have been around for decades, [...]

Speak out

  • March 1st, 2013

Proposed regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act could bring dramatic changes to the growing, harvest, and packing of tree fruit. Although state, regional, and national trade groups are coordinating responses to the draft rule on behalf of the tree fruit industry, growers, too, should share their concerns, [...]

  • WATCH: Feds hold “Listening Session” on new food safety regulations

WATCH: Feds hold “Listening Session” on new food safety regulations

  • January 1st, 2013

The federal government took a humble position and brought a big ear to a meeting with growers and others on the Food Safety Modernization Act, held August 14 in Yakima, Washington.
The Produce Listening Session featured Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, [...]

  • Planning for continued success

Planning for continued success

  • November 1st, 2012

Those are among the reasons why the main theme of the association’s annual meeting, December 3 to 5, will be succession planning, says David Douglas, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association and part of the family-owned Douglas Fruit Company in Pasco, Washington.

Douglas said his family’s company was [...]

Good Point: Proving safe produce is safe

  • September 1st, 2012

Safe food is an unobjectionable term. No one wants unsafe food.

To assure the safety of the produce sold to consumers, private grocery store chains have already imposed ever greater contractual standards on their suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised [...]

  • Ready for the audit?

Ready for the audit?

  • May 1st, 2012

Nicole Brunner checks the Gras2p training manual, which can be purchased by any Washington grower.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

More Washington growers and packers are turning to Gras2p (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) for help in preparing for third-party certifications, such as GlobalGAP.

The Washington State Horticultural Association [...]

DNA test identifies pathogens in tainted foods

  • April 1st, 2012

Fruit or vegetable packers concerned that their produce may be contaminated with unsafe pathogens will soon have a simple screening method they can use to ease or confirm their fears. It’s a handheld tool that’s said to be easy to use on-site, gives results in about an hour, and [...]

Underground drip irrigation serves two purposes

  • April 1st, 2012

Water is plentiful in the fruit-growing area along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, so it’s not scarcity that’s an issue. The problem is with some water that’s been made slightly dirty but is perfectly useful if ­handled right.

That’s led some fruit growers and fruit processors to make double use of [...]

  • Tackle food safety one step at a time

Tackle food safety one step at a time

  • March 15th, 2012

Implementing a food safety program for an orchard might seem overwhelming. But with forethought, planning, and willingness to seek assistance, growers can implement a workable program, agreed a panel of Washington State tree fruit food safety experts during the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in January.

Since the Food Safety Modernization [...]

Good Point

  • February 1st, 2012

Arsenic in apple juice. Apples, pears, and cherries on the Environmental Working Group’s latest “Dirty Dozen List.” Canned fruit contaminated with BPA, a chemical in the lining of cans. A dangerous synthetic pesticide—pick your specific agricultural chemical—should have its registration pulled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Brushfires of these [...]

Sell food safety from the top down

  • February 1st, 2012

Food safety means different things to different people—sanitation, temperature control, personal hygiene, quality assurance, regulations—but what it really boils down to is human behavior, says a Kroger food safety manager. Changing behavior starts at the top and must be “sold” to employees if food safety is to be embraced.

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