Tomato industry leaders discuss 'audit fatigue' during summit

02/01/2012 06:09:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier



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FDS    
Nogales Az  |  February, 02, 2012 at 08:48 AM

fortunate times to experience 'fatigue' = growth..it's all good.

Chavez    
Chavez  |  February, 02, 2012 at 09:00 AM

All growers have "audit fatigue". Every commodity is experiencing conflicting ideas and regulations from their customers. I think each group of growers of a certain commodity should join together and create their own set of standards specific to their product. Of course now that the government is involved it will be a one size fits all program. Potatoes and tomatoes shouldnt be held to the same standard since the potatoe is usually cooked for a long period of time. Where is the scientific data that supports the regulations set forth by the 3rd party auditing outfits? It is frustrating for me to be told to use 150ppm of chlorine on my commodity when you cant even swim in a pool at those levels. I think the whole food safety system is broken and will just be worse once the government gets into the act.

John    
Georgia  |  February, 02, 2012 at 11:07 AM

We need to focus the audits on the critical points, and when those points fail then the shipper fails. As the customer keeps adding minor criteria to the audits more will be missed and the audit may not fail however real food safety will be compromised. The customer needs some common sense people not scientist to determine audit protocol.

Food Safety Gal    
Canada  |  February, 02, 2012 at 02:41 PM

With respect, I think it IS the scientists that should be determining the "critical points." One must realize that producing safe food requires an integrated SYSTEM of practices, all working together. The Global Food Safety Initiative and Harmonized GAP programs used science and research to confirm which practices are important to ensure safe food, then combined that data into a common set of standards for every audit. It is SCIENTISTS who have the appropriate training and knowledge to adequately identify risks in production process. Often times, it is not one single event, but a series of them that lead to a breach in food safety (case in point: Jensen Farms). When the person responsible for food safety at a particular facility has the appropriate scientific knowledge, he or she can identify the situations or practices that may be risky and take steps to mitigate them. If food safety personnel were selected for their level of knowledge of microbiology, perhaps we could improve the system overall. Too often, food safety positions are underqualified and underpaid.

Allen    
Texa  |  February, 03, 2012 at 08:10 PM

When are we going to start third party or any type of outside audits on Grocers distribution centers and stores. When are large box stores going to take some responsibility.

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