On the fast track
California farmers say they're working diligently and as quickly as possible, to establish new food-safety standards.
California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar examines fresh spinach with Monterey County farmer Dale Huss.
"Assuring food safety and restoring consumer confidence in fresh leafy vegetables is our top priority," California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said. "We know we must achieve results as soon as possible. Our chief responsibility is to focus on results, and make sure the steps we produce will be practical, effective and based on the best science available."
A coalition of large food buyers has asked that improved food-safety procedures for produce be put in place by Dec. 15.
"Farm Bureau has been working with other agricultural associations, scientists and government agencies to refine best management practices for farms, processors and everyone in the food chain. Those efforts intensified after the E. coli outbreak linked to fresh spinach," Mosebar said. "Nothing could be more important to the farmers who have made growing fresh fruits and vegetables their life's work."
Mosebar said those working on the practices understand that they must be in place quickly.
"We want to produce standards that will work for everyone, so we don't have conflicting rules that could complicate our work toward food safety," he said. "We know we have to get this right and to do so as quickly as we can."