September 16, 2016

PMA, United Fresh create working group on listeria

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) are collaborating to address produce-specific challenges surrounding Listeria monocytogenes (Lm).

Both organizations have been actively working with their respective members on individual projects related to reducing the risk of produce-associated foodborne illnesses from Lm. The group’s initial meeting took place Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C., during United Fresh’s Washington Conference; a second meeting is planned for October during PMA’s Fresh Summit Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida.

The PMA-United Fresh Joint Lm Working Group aims to improve food safety by decreasing the risk of Lm associated with fresh produce through collaboration in the following key areas:

1. Policy – Advocate for sound science and risk-based U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Lm policy through joint review of forthcoming FDA draft guidance and alignment of comments to FDA.
2. Research – Identify produce-specific Lm research needs and inform competitive research funding sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Center for Produce Safety.
3. Information sharing – Amplify and make readily available new cutting-edge Lm research learnings and education resources—such as PMA’s Listeria Resource Page—as well as inform content development of the associations’ educational outreach efforts, such as United Fresh’s upcoming equipment sanitary design summit for the fresh-cut produce industry.

Both associations are also members of the Alliance for Listeriosis Prevention.