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    PMA, Western Growers Release Food Safety Report

    Summarizes research presented at the 2012 CPS Research Symposium

    The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Western Growers have released a new report that aims to help produce industry members understand the latest food safety research and how to apply key findings to their day-to-day operations.

    The report summarizes and interprets research presented at the third annual Center for Produce Safety (CPS) Research Symposium held June 27, 2012, at the University of California. Covered in the report are results from 18 CPS-funded projects in four separate areas: Good Agricultural Practices: Buffer Zones and Animal Vectors; Good Agricultural Practices: Irrigation Water Quality; Good Agricultural Practices: Inputs, Cultivation and Harvest; and Wash Water and Process Control.

    “It can be frustrating for non-scientists to identify key findings in research reports,” said Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA chief science & technology officer and chair of the CPS Technical Committee. “We hope this report helps people from all over our industry understand what this research means and how it might be used in their own food safety programs.”

    The CPS was founded in 2007 by PMA, Taylor Farms and other industry, government, scientific and academic partners as a collaborative effort to deliver science-based food safety research for the produce industry. Having funded 69 projects totaling $10.6 million since 2008, CPS is recognized for their partnering in research programs; linking scientists with stakeholders and their scientific research funding process; research project management; and translation of scientific data into everyday use for produce operations and industry outreach.

    Co-authored by Whitaker and Hank Giclas, senior vice president, strategic planning, science & technology, Western Growers, the report is organized to include an executive summary describing key research trends, a review of each research project and an interpretation of what the findings mean for growing, harvesting and processing operations.

    “The ‘practical guide’ is a tool to transfer information from the academic community to users and lay persons," Giclas said. "We are pleased to work with PMA to continually improve and enhance the fresh produce industry's preventive practices and programs."

    The 2013 CPS Research Symposium will be held June 25-26 in Rochester, N.Y., at the Wegmans Conference Center. The conference will present 16 new research-program reports by CPS-funded scientists.

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