Southeast conference to cover food safety, audits
Source of Article: http://thepacker.com/icms/_dtaa2/content/wrapper.asp?alink=2008-102121-614.asp&stype=topstory&fb=
By Doug Ohlemeier
(Dec. 2) Two leading
industry officials are scheduled to tackle food safety issues during an
upcoming southeastern growers’ conference.
Tom Stenzel, president of the United Fresh Produce
Association, Washington, D.C.,
and Reggie Brown, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee and executive vice
president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, Maitland, have been invited to
address growers on the topic at a Jan. 9 food safety forum during the
Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga.
The conference is from Jan. 9-11.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers
Association and the South Carolina Peach Council, will feature an interactive
session called “Can the Tomato Crisis Happen to You? How Can You Prevent It?”
The session will also provide growers updated information on what state and
federal officials are doing on the food safety issue.
A separate safety session covers good agricultural practices, how growers can
prepare for audits, the Produce Traceability Initiative and
commodity-specific guidelines on tomatoes, leafy greens and melons.
“Part of this is reviewing and identifying what happened with the tomato
salmonella issue in the summer and from an industry standpoint how we can
avoid it in the future,” said Charles Hall, executive director of the La
Grange-based association. “This should show that Georgia is very concerned about
the food safety issue.”
During the spring/summer Salmonella Saintpaul
outbreak, federal agencies said tomatoes were to blame, in part, although no
tomatoes tested positive.
Other sessions during the ninth annual conference cover grower issues on
crops including berries, peaches, pecans, Vidalia onions and watermelon, as
well as organic production.