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Bridging the GAPs: Strategies to Improve Produce Safety, Preserve Farm Diversity and Strengthen Local Food Systems

Bridging the GAPs: Strategies to Improve Produce Safety, Preserve Farm Diversity and Strengthen Local Food Systems

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Although the vast majority of produce related food-borne illnesses in the United States are traced back to food processors
and not to farms, several recent outbreaks associated with fresh or fresh-cut produce have brought the farm squarely into the food safety picture. A 2006 outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 in bagged, ready-to-eat spinach and iceberg lettuce sent consumers running from leafy greens; a 2008 Salmonella outbreak, linked first to tomatoes and then to chili peppers, had
a similar chilling effect. As a result, both government and industry have developed guidelines or strict protocols intended to improve produce safety on the farm.
Although the vast majority of produce related food-borne illnesses in the United States are traced back to food processors
and not to farms, several recent outbreaks associated with fresh or fresh-cut produce have brought the farm squarely into the food safety picture. A 2006 outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 in bagged, ready-to-eat spinach and iceberg lettuce sent consumers running from leafy greens; a 2008 Salmonella outbreak, linked first to tomatoes and then to chili peppers, had
a similar chilling effect. As a result, both government and industry have developed guidelines or strict protocols intended to improve produce safety on the farm.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Food and Water Watch on Sep 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Bridging the GAPs
Strategies to Improve Produce Safety,Preserve Farm Diversity andStrengthen Local Food Systems
Written by Elanor Starmer, Food & Water Watchand Marie Kulick, Institute for Agriculture and Trade PolicyResearch assistance by Stephanie Ogburn
 
 About Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch is a nonprot consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. Food & Water Watch works with grassroots organizations around the world to create an economically and environmentally viable fu
-
ture. Through research, public and policymaker education, media and lobbying, we advocate policies that guarantee safe, wholesome food produced in a humane and sustainable manner, and public, rather than private, control of water resourcesincluding oceans, rivers and groundwater.
 Main ofce:
1616 P St. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036tel: (202) 683-2500fax: (202) 683-2501info@fwwatch.org www.foodandwaterwatch.orgCopyright © September 2009 by Food & Water Watch and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. All rights reserved.This report can be viewed or downloaded at www.foodandwaterwatch.org or www.iatp.org.
California Ofce:
25 Stillman Street, Suite 200San Francisco, CA 94107tel: (415) 293-9900fax: (415) 293-9908info-ca@fwwatch.org
 About the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensurefair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. We work to make food healthier by advocating for more sustainable foodproduction and a less contaminated food supply while supporting family farmers and rural communities.2105 First Avenue South
 
Minneapolis, MN 55404
 
tel: (612) 870-0453
 
fax: (612) 870-4846
 
iatp@iatp.org www.iatp.org
 
Executive Summary and Recommendations.............................................................................................................................iv Introduction...................................................................................................................................................................1Overview of Existing On-Farm Food Safety Practices................................................................................................................3Federal Guidance: Good Agricultural Practices........................................................................................................................3Public-Private Partnerships: The Leafy Green Marketing Agreement.........................................................................................4Other Industry Food Safety Initiatives: The Super Metrics.......................................................................................................6Global GAPs and Other International Food Safety Protocols....................................................................................................7Food Safety in the U.S. Congress: Legislative Proposals..........................................................................................................8Food Safety: What the Science Says...........................................................................................................................................10Evidence on the Ground: The Consequences of a Food Safety Free-for-All.............................................................................12 Alternative Approaches at the Farm Level...............................................................................................................................17Strategies to Improve Food Safety While Supporting Local Farm Systems...........................................................................22Endnotes..........................................................................................................................................................24
Bridging the GAPs
Strategies to Improve Produce Safety, Preserve Farm Diversityand Strengthen Local Food Systems

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