Industry’s cantaloupe safety meetings change to webinar format

March 20, 2012

A series of webinars will replace regional meetings scheduled to develop guidelines to improve the safety of cantaloupe.

Growers, buyers, auditors, academic experts and state and federal regulators were being invited to attend regional meetings planned through June. However, Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer for the Produce Marketing Association, has announced they are being replaced by webinars in the interest of expediency and efficiency.

“Due to the scientific and technical nature of these discussions, the format has been changed to a weekly webinar series beginning April 2,” Whitaker said in an email announcement. “This proven and focused webinar process was also successfully used to develop the guidance documents for green onions, culinary herbs and other commodities.”

Whitaker said benefits of the new format include likely increased participation from across the supply chain and geographic regions, and more efficient use of time and resources.

The intended outcome of the webinars, which is the completion of a draft cantaloupe food safety guidance document to be available for review by industry regulatory and academic scientists, is targeted for Aug. 1.

The introductory webinar starts at 10 a.m. PDT April 2. Information on the entire process, along with subsequent webinars, will be provided at that time.

To register online for the first session, click here.