Food safety guideline changes on the way

Food safety is becoming a hot issue for all farmers, no matter what the crop. Change is coming and it’s best to prepare for it now by cleaning your groves and cropland, if necessary. [emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]

Fresh fruit growers, in particular, will have tighter field guidelines as buyers become more and more aware of how their food is grown. This applies to citrus and all “fresh fruit,” including blueberries and strawberries.

It is wise to contact your state legislators to give your input into any proposed changes to Food Safety Standards implemented by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Learn more about food safety decisions that affect your crop.

It is wise to tackle any needed cleanup now before new regulations tighten field standards and complicate the process.

Food safety has been an important concern for years, but in the past the focus was on packers, processors, and shippers. The trend has shifted to include field safety in all areas of farming. Many packers are using camera systems so produce brokers and retail buyers can see their product on the packing line.

So I encourage you to act now. Get involved in the process and have your say before new standards are adopted!

CREDITS

column by BRAD WEIHRAUCH

BIO: Brad Weihrauch is a Polk County native. He grew up around a family business of agriculture and customer service. After Winter Haven High School, he went on to complete his education at Polk Community College and Warner Southern. After serving 17 years in customer service for a large retailer, Weihrauch returned to his agriculture roots and founded RWC, an agri-service and management company, in 2002. [/emember_protected]