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From Greenhouse Grower: CEA Alliance Publishes Best Practices Food Safety Document

As reported in Greenhouse Grower magazine, the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Alliance has published a new best practices document, “Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for Controlled Environment Agriculture Produce Production of Leafy Greens and Herbs.” The document provides guidance in all areas in the production of leafy greens and was developed by the Alliance’s Food Safety Working Group in collaboration with the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA).

The article by Greenhouse Grower Senior Editor Brian Sparks goes on to explain:

“Since the CEA Alliance was formed in 2019 as the CEA Food Safety Coalition, ensuring the safety of indoor-grown produce has been at the center of our members’ focus,” says Executive Director Tom Stenzel. “At that time, the Alliance developed its own food safety standards before most third-party audits covered indoor-grown produce. Since then, CEA production has become much more mainstream in the auditing world, so our members turned our attention to developing a detailed best-practice document to dig deeper into specific guidance that would be helpful to growers across the world.”

“We believe it’s important to share these best practices with all indoor growers, both established major companies and new start-ups,” says Monica Nobles, CEA Alliance Board member and Director of Quality and Safety for 80 Acres. “We’re making this resource free to support all companies that are growing or intend to grow leafy greens and herbs in greenhouses or vertical farms.”

Editors of the document included Dr. Jennifer McEntire, founder of Food Safety Strategies LLC and former Chief Food Safety and Regulatory Officer of IFPA; Gretchen Wall, Director, Food Safety & Quality at IFPA, and Stenzel. The document was developed under the guidance of more than 20 CEA Alliance Food Safety Working Group members. Outside scientific reviewers included a number of government, academic, retail, food service, and third-party auditors.

The document is available for download here.