published on February 24, 2016 - 8:00 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

As part of its ongoing commitment to providing important food safety-related information to its members, the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) hosted an industry-wide food safety seminar in Selma today.

According to CFFA President Barry Bedwell, a wide range of the Association’s membership, representing 13 different commodities, attended the event.

In addition, individuals from the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and UC Davis were also in attendance.

The seminar started off with Joan Rosen, a well known food-safety specialist, reviewing her findings from cooperative audits she conducted during the 2015 growing season. Rosen went on to make recommendations on where focus and improvements could be made in specific food-safety protocols.

Also at the event, Dr. Elis Owens, of the Birko Corporation, made an informative presentation on details related to sanitization procedures and Dr. Steven Pao, of Fresno State, talked about the efficacy of current packing practices in reducing surface microbial loads in stone fruit.

Concluding the seminar, Dr. Jim Gorny, from the Produce Marketing Association, explained the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and in particular, the requirements related to water testing.

“Seminars like the one held today allow for our members to receive the most up-to-date information on best food safety practices,” Bedwell said. “In addition, these educational efforts confirm the dedication of the grower and shipper community, as well as their understanding the importance of making food safety job number one.”

The California Fresh Fruit Association, which advocates for its members, is supported by growers, shippers, marketers and associate members. The organization was created in 1936, mainly to negotiate railroad rates for shippers, but has since evolved into filling the industry’s need for public policy representation.

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