“Food Safety’s Dirty Little Secret” [September 15-22] misses the point. The implication that vegetables other than tomatoes and leafy greens are less scrutinized for food safety purposes misses the fundamental dynamic of how diversified production agriculture works. In California and in Arizona, farmers follow the same or similar protocols if they are growing any vegetable crop, broccoli or leafy greens. The fundamental adherence to good agricultural practices requires validation of land use, water, environment, worker hygiene, and sanitation in each and every crop that is grown. The marketplace demands, as a prerequisite of selling to retailers and food service, that growers have comprehensive food safety programs in place that are verified by third-party audits. To suggest that growers only care about food safety for select crops is misleading.
Tom A. Nassif
President & CEO Western Growers