Wash your hands before you eat, my grandmother admonished (frequently). She was a food safety advocate. As producers, many food safety risk factors in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) are more controllable than those in open-field farms, but that doesn’t mean those risks aren’t present. Failure in this critical area can have disastrous consequences for everybody.
Food produce or packaging contamination is possible, even for indoor or controlled-environment growers. A problem that makes people sick and gets in the news is an issue for everyone, not just the grower who has a problem. Consumers expect and deserve safe, clean food, and the backlash against the industry can be harsh (as it should be) for failures.
“Food safety should not be a competitive issue,” says Tom Stenzel, Executive Director of the CEA Alliance.
That’s why a group of CEA producers, suppliers, and clients formed the Food Safety Coalition, later renamed and expanded to the CEA Alliance.
Photo: Revol Greens