Food Safety Modernization Act Set to be Focus

Sacramento, California - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will discuss the Food Safety Modernization Act at its upcoming meeting on February 5th in Sacramento.

The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street - Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

"Food safety is the most important thing for California's farmers and ranchers, and they rely on standards that evolve through research and scientific advances" said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "The Food Safety Modernization Act's proposed rules create stronger protections for consumers and embrace many of the voluntary practices California growers are already using in their fields and processing facilities."

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed two new food safety regulations governing the production and processing of food products. The proposed rules, authorized by the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act, are designed to minimize the risk of food borne illness in the nation's food supply. The FDA is currently accepting public comments on the proposed rules before final rules are published.

Invited speakers include: Barbara Cassens, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Rick Jensen, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Dr. Annette Jones, State Veterinarian; Patrick Kennelly, California Department of Public Health; Scott Horsfall, California Leafy Greens Products Handler Marketing Agreement; Dave Runsten, Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Dr. Trevor Suslow, University of California, Davis and Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance.

“A large number of cultural and management practices are utilized on the farm for food production,” said President Craig McNamara, California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “How these practices interact – food safety, conservation, and employee training – is something we need to explore and learn more about.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

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