The LGMA is a mandatory audit program that certifies member companies are implementing food safety practices developed by university and industry scientists, food safety experts, farmers, shippers and processors. These food safety practices were also reviewed by state and federal government health agencies. This set of food safety practices has been accepted by the LGMA and all LGMA member companies are subject to mandatory government audits to verify that the LGMA-accepted food safety practices are being implemented.
In 1998 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its "Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables." This document provides general food safety guidance, which was the basis for the LGMA-accepted food safety practices. The LGMA document gives specific and science-based guidance to be used for growing and harvesting leafy greens.
The accepted food safety practices cover five key areas:
Member companies are required to have a complete food safety compliance plan, an up-to-date list of growers, and a written trace back program.
Pre-season and pre-harvest assessments are required to make sure conditions that can affect food safety, such as animal intrusions, flooding, proximity to animal feeding operations, etc. are not present, or have been properly mitigated.
Extensive testing and record keeping for all sources of water used in the production of leafy greens is required by the program.
Extensive testing, certification and record keeping for soil amendments, including compost and fertilizers, are required by the program.
Field audits verify that farmers are in compliance with the program’s requirements in the areas of worker practices and field sanitation.
The LGMA food safety practices are grounded in the latest food safety science, and will be updated as new research and information becomes available.
Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production and Harvest of Lettuce and Leafy Greens. Accepted by the LGMA Advisory Board, these are the food safety practices that LGMA members are required to implement in order to comply with the program.
LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices - Appendix A This document supports the LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices and provides water survey information.
LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices - Appendix B This document supports the LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices and provides technical basis information.
LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices - Appendix C This document supports the LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices and provides information on product testing protocol.
LGMA accepted Food Safety Practies - Appendix Z This document supports the LGMA accepted Food Safety Practices and provides contacts for environmental protection and permitting requirements.
Compliance Audit Checklist This is a copy of the document used by CDFA auditors when conducting audits of LGMA members.