Cantaloupe food safety meetings on the Web

03/20/2012 08:21:00 AM
Tom Karst

The format for industry-led meetings focused on cantaloupe safety has changed from four in-person meetings to a series of weekly Web seminars.

The first Web seminar is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 2 PDT.

The focus of the Web seminars will be technical and scientific, but all who want to participate are welcome, said Glenn Boyet, senior director of public relations for Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.

“We don’t want it appear to be closed, but these are scientific meetings and that’s what we are trying to emphasize,” Boyet said.

PMA, Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association, Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers and the Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas helped organize and plan the meetings

Boyet said the exact number of Web seminar meetings will be discussed at the April 2 event.

“It will definitely be more than four meetings,” he said.

Earlier this year, organizers had laid out a series of four in-person regional meetings in Phoenix, Irvine, Calif., Denver and the Southeast U.S. from March 29 through June 21 to develop guidelines to improve the safety of cantaloupe. Seattle-based food safety lawyer Bill Marler criticized the exclusion of the public and victims of the listeria outbreak linked to Colorado cantaloupe from those meetings.

Boyet said the new format will allow greater participation across the supply chain.

“The (Web seminars) allow us to do more than having just the four in-person meeting,” Boyet said march 19.

Completion of a draft of cantaloupe food safety rules is expected by be available by Aug. 1 of this year.



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George Aziz    
London, Canada  |  March, 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Consumers must purchase fresh produce with confidence. The Growers with aid from the Researchers and Inspection of Agriculture, must assume all responsibility for their product being safe to eat and provide the special nourishment needed.

Barb Griffith    
Washington state  |  March, 22, 2012 at 05:11 PM

For years I have always washed cantaloupes and watermelon with hot water and dish soap to clean the outside good and then rinse good. Because if you cut into the melon the knife can carry bacteria to the interior of the fruit. I do all fruit this way.

Paul F Schwarz    
Independence, MO.  |  March, 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM

As the son of one of the 36 (+ 1 miscarriage) victims of the Jensen Farms listeria outbreak I am pleased that the we can at least hear what is will be talked about. I am sure that the 146 survivors are also pleased with this reversal. Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Fort Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

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