( File photo )

Public comments on updated drafts of tomato metrics for food safety are due to the United Fresh Produce Association by May 3.

The draft documents are based on May 2018 recommendations from the Tomato Metrics Working Group, according to a statement from United Fresh. The group recommended that the metrics be updated to remove or edit certain items considered to be redundant to the broader United Fresh Good Agricultural Practices Harmonized Standards.

“Upon publication of the updated metrics, the intent is that growers/processors may be audited against a broader food safety standard (i.e. GAP Harmonized Standard), and the Tomato Metrics may be used as an industry-specific addendum to those standards, according to the statement.

The updated draft metrics are tomato-centric and can be used in concert with the Harmonized or any other food safety audit standard, according to United Fresh.

The list of the draft documents is available at the United Fresh website  and includes protocols for:

  • Open Field Production & Harvest Metrics;
  • Greenhouse Metrics;
  • Packinghouse Metrics; and
  • Repacking & Distribution Metrics.

Comments about the documents can be sent to Emily Griep, manager of food safety for United Fresh, at [email protected]

After the comment period ends, the Tomato Metrics Working Group will review all comments and finalize the metrics updates, according to the statement.