|Authors: ||I. Castro-Ibaņez, L. Jacxsens, K. Kirezieva, P.A. Luning, M.I. Gil, M. Uyttendaele, A. Allende|
|Keywords: ||fruits and vegetables, assessment tool, producers and processors, context riskiness|
The shift from local to global food markets as well as other food safety concerns such as the pressure of climate change has increased the demand on current horticultural production systems to guarantee the microbiological (e.g., control of Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli) and chemical (e.g., pesticide residues) safety of fresh produce.
To deal with these concerns, food safety management systems (FSMS) that are tailored to specific company situations are needed.
However, the context of the production, processing and trade chains influence the FSMS. The objective of this study was to gain insights into the food safety context of fresh produce production and processing companies located in southeastern Spain, a leading European horticultural area.
A diagnostic tool was applied in 13 producer and 7 processing companies focused on the trade of fresh-cut leafy greens throughout the EU. The diagnostic tool consisted of a questionnaire about the context of the company and its risk profile.
Results showed that product and process riskiness were moderate to high for most of the companies surveyed.
All the companies in this study complied with voluntary standards such as GLOBAL GAP, BRC and IFS. Multiple certification requirements are forcing these companies to develop a generic sector-based FSMS adapted to their situations.
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