National Cantaloupe Guidance Document Now Available
The "National Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for Cantaloupes and Netted Melons" developed by a broad coalition of industry and academic experts as well as government scientists and regulators is now available for use by the cantaloupe industry domestically and abroad - without charge.
Following a kick-off meeting on April 2, 2012, twenty-five weekly webinars were held from April 10th to October 9th to develop the Guidelines. Weekly webinar participants included government (17%), trade associations (14%), handlers (22%), growers and grower-shippers (19%), and buyers (9%) among others. Attendees were from the U.S. (90%), Canada (7%), Mexico (2%). U.S. attendees were from 19 states and the District of Columbia.
The purpose of this effort and document was to provide guidance to the industry on how to minimize microbial hazards during primary production through packing and transport of fresh cantaloupes. All individuals involved in the production, harvesting, packing, cooling, storage and transporting of fresh uncut cantaloupes are strongly encouraged to use this guidance to develop their own very specific "preventive" food safety programs and practices to address risk and minimize microbial hazards.
Facilitators are committed to the continuous improvement of this guidance and of preventive programs across the supply chain. For this reason we ask users to on the guidelines including but not limited to feedback and comment on the ease of use and clarity of the documents as well ass the difficulty in meeting any of the food safety recommendations.