FDA plans to increase cantaloupe inspections - The Packer

FDA plans to increase cantaloupe inspections

02/25/2013 05:45:00 PM
Tom Karst

In the Feb. 25 letter, the agency urged the cantaloupe growers and processors to follow current food safety guidelines. Those documents are available at the FDA website.

The cantaloupe industry has made big gains in addressing food safety priorities and the increased FDA inspections will show that, Tom Stenzel, president of United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., said in a news release.

New food safety resources are available to the cantaloupe industry, including the National Commodity-Specific Food Safety Guidelines for Cantaloupes and Netted Melons, he said. That can be found and downloaded online at www.cantaloupe-guidance.org.

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Daniel Torres    
Gonzales Ca.  |  February, 25, 2013 at 07:52 PM

say what? Will Primus be conducting the audits/inspections? say what?

tom ambrosia    
pa  |  February, 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Stop blaming Primus for what happened. Primus audit was accepted into GFSI. When an auditor is not properly trained or possibly in a hurry or any number of reasons, the auditor is at fault, not the audit tool, unless the audit tool is not up to snuff. Since GFSI said the audit standard met their requirements then was it the tool or the person using the tool. Now if the CB told the auditor or guided the auditor to ensure the client got a good score and all, well then that would be very bad. an auditor must use the tool, his/her training and basic common sense when auditing. It would appear this auditor was not properly/thoroughly trained and he has to live with the fact what some 39 people died. Auditor wrong, yep, CB to some degree, Farmer/Pack House, yep. Cantaloupes like most fruits and vegs are loaded with bacteria. One must clean and re-clean and check. can it still happen yes even with best programs. BUT that is why you constantly stand on guard and check your systems daily and more frequently to ensure you are doing everything possible to control the potential. You use food safety experts in your field to help look at your systems and where they could fail and improve on that. Its a constant QA issue that capital must be used to help prevent such tragedies. FDA, USDA just as guilty in many cases for lack of guidance or guidance after the fact. To every company, it is your ethical and moral duty to ensure your products are properly cleaned, protected and checked. Maybe the Chinese have it right, you screw up they shoot you, as they did with their "sec of ag" and executives with the tainted baby millk/food. It sure will get any food processors attention, no? Training @ every level is most important and follow up!

Pennsylvania  |  February, 26, 2013 at 09:23 AM

So who really wants to grow canteloupe anymore in the USA? One more product that will be brought in from outside the USA. Whatever happened to the old fashioned method of washing fresh produce at home before you eat it. That went out the day the first pre-packed, pre-washed produce went on the shelf. Teach your sons and daughters how to prepare fresh produce, (even the pre-washed type) by washing it first, and maybe we'll still get to eat some produce grown and packed in the USA. But not if the FDA has anything to do with it.

Dinuba, Ca  |  February, 26, 2013 at 08:49 PM

Growing up and living on the farm, we like to eat our fruit and veggies right out of the field. I eat lots of dirty fruit and never get sick from it. The reason we have so many sick people is that they dont eat enough natural fruit right out of the field.

USA  |  February, 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

The Chinese incident really is not an apt comparison. It was a case of deliberate adulteration for economic benefits.

Ben H    
NY State  |  March, 02, 2013 at 07:58 PM

No it wasn't adulteration, it was corruption. The Chinese action was correct and should have been taken with Bernie Madoff, Ken Starr, and Ivan Boesky. That's how you end corruption. Had Ivan Boesky been shot, Bernie Madoff would probably be an accountant for the New York Public School System and his Son's would be alive.

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