Don’t slip on food safety - The Packer

Don’t slip on food safety

12/05/2011 08:55:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board


It isn’t right, but it’s reality: A fresh produce-related product recall or outbreak of foodborne illness related to a fresh fruit or vegetable not only damages sales of the affected product but also related products ... and possibly even some in other categories.

Data from the Perishables Group suggest, for instance, that the recent cantaloupe outbreak not only hammered sales figures for cantaloupes out of the Rocky Ford region of Colorado but the overall melon category. 

Call it mainstream media fear-mongering causing public panic, call it gross injustice, call it what you will, but the industry response should be to redouble all food safety and traceability efforts.

It challenges basic notions of fairness that companies — even whole sectors of the industry — have to pay for the misfortune or misdeeds of others, but it’s a fact of doing business in the produce trade.

Even the most conscientious and thorough adherents of food safety protocols can be hit with collateral damage when an outbreak or recall occurs.

Through efforts like the Produce Traceability Initiative and industry consensus not to use claims of food safety as a marketing tactic, the fruit and vegetable industry has shown it understands that the financial well-being of all stakeholders — growers, packers, processors, shippers and retailers — depends on comprehensive and precise implementation of food safety programs.

While it may prove challenging at times, industry unity in food safety is the right thing to do, and ultimately it will pay dividends financially as well.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.

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Robert Samudio    
Flowers Balikg of Miami  |  February, 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM

In more than 30 years experiencie in Food Safetyt and Sanitation I had been seeing someissues in the food industry, but I do not undestan how in Florida inspectors are more strict than others States when they have an inspections in Supermakets the industry response should be to redouble all food safety and traceability efforts to improve not only the quality of our products , but the safety of them Sincerely, Robert Samudio Food Safety an Q.A Director of Flowers Baking of Miami

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