U.S – In a joint effort to bolster food safety in crop production, the Arizona and California Leafy Greens Marketing Associations (LGMA) have introduced a trailblazing tool designed to help growers and shippers assess risks in their agricultural environments.
Accessible via the Arizona LGMA and California LGMA websites, this innovative risk assessment tool represents a significant stride forward in ensuring the safety of leafy greens.
The newly unveiled risk assessment tool takes a comprehensive approach, evaluating a spectrum of potential risks, both within the farmer’s control on their property and in adjacent land areas.
The collaboration between the Arizona and California LGMA serves a vital purpose—to equip food safety professionals with the tools needed to efficiently monitor field conditions and assess hazards in the surrounding environment.
LGMA has long mandated its members to conduct environmental risk assessments. This new tool not only incorporates LGMA’s rigorous requirements but also standardizes the process by which each member addresses specific hazards.
After completing the assessment, users receive a risk score, providing valuable insights into the safety of their crops.
Moreover, the tool highlights the potential impact of specific mitigation measures, enabling growers to take targeted actions to safeguard their produce.
Navigating hazards with precision
The Environmental Risk Assessment Tool, currently accessible as an Excel spreadsheet, offers users a versatile platform to comprehensively evaluate potential hazards and land uses in and around their crop production areas.
This user-friendly tool guides individuals through the meticulous assessment of diverse factors, encompassing a wide range of considerations.
Users can analyze risks stemming from activities such as animal operations and compost/soil amendment operations, as well as the presence of non-leafy green crops, water sources and systems, urban settings, and other environmental factors.
By systematically addressing these elements, the tool empowers growers to proactively identify and mitigate risks, enhancing the safety and quality of their crops while bolstering overall food safety practices.
Once users input hazard data and consider risk factors, the tool generates a risk result rating. Users can then document the mitigation measures taken at the farm level to address potential hazards before planting.
The tool uses pre-assigned mitigation values to adjust the risk rating based on the effectiveness of these measures. This dynamic approach empowers growers to make informed decisions to reduce risks and enhance food safety.
In providing growers with the means to identify and mitigate risks comprehensively, this tool promises to elevate food safety standards and inspire best practices throughout the industry.
As growers embrace this new tool, consumers can have even greater confidence in the safety of the leafy greens they enjoy.