Arizona’s thriving lettuce industry must be ensured in part by protecting the integrity of leafy greens. To help growers improve their overall food safety and comply with audits, the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee has engaged an expert that will offer one-on-one and group trainings.
Barry Eisenberg, Ph.D., has been retained as the Arizona Leafy Greens Technical Food Safety Consultant. He has an extensive track record of helping companies meet food safety and quality goals. Dr. Eisenberg will work with growers individually and in groups, at the expense of the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee, to help them enhance their protocols and prepare for food safety audits.
Arizona Agriculture Food Safety Gets Expert Support
"The addition of Barry for individual guidance to our industry members is invaluable,” said Vicki-Lynne Scott, Technical Subcommittee chairperson and board member of the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee. “It’s another enhancement to our overall Food Safety Training program, but with the personal connection to offer counsel on an individual basis, taking into consideration individual growers’ unique situations.”
To introduce Dr. Eisenberg to the industry, an educational program will be offered on Dec. 11 from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Yuma. Eisenberg will provide a brief overview of how to prepare for an audit, chlorine monitoring, risk assessments and how to utilize his availability as a resource to the industry. During the week following this meeting, Dr. Eisenberg will meet with individual growers. Attendees and those interested in making individual appointments can call 602-542-0945 to RSVP or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arizona Leafy Greens has invested significantly over the past few years on developing its Food Safety Program, which includes a bilingual Food Safety Training Kit for classroom settings, as well as field training posters for impromptu trainings. The program drives home the importance of safety training while recognizing the very different cultural attributes of Hispanic workers, which comprise the majority of those in the field. The program is designed for harvest supervisors and foremen, food safety coordinators, production supervisors, quality control personnel, extension educators and/or industry consultants who conduct food safety training at leafy greens farms. The program is specifically targeted at those who handle leafy greens before, during or after harvest.
The Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee is a consortium of shippers of Arizona leafy greens produce, they have put in place protective controls to ensure the integrity of leafy greens products grown and shipped from Arizona. Arizona's Leafy Greens industry provides 75 percent of the leafy greens produce consumed in the United States and Canada for the months of November through March. The $1 billion industry employs approximately 20,000 workers. Arizona Leafy Greens is comprised of 90 percent of the state's growers and shippers, in a volunteer network that enables them to proactively diffuse potential issues through an intricate system of checks and balances. The program is administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture and closely monitored by USDA-licensed auditors. More information is at www.arizonaleafygreens.org.