The California Department of Food and Agriculture will hold two public hearings to discuss possible changes to the California Cantaloupe Program, the state’s marketing order for cantaloupes.

The hearings are slated for March 8 in El Centro, Calif., and March 12 in Fresno, Calif., according to a news release. All cantaloupe handlers are invited to attended the hearings, which were requested by the Dinuba-based California Cantaloupe Advisory Board.

Proposed changes to the California Cantaloupe Program include establishing and enforcing best agricultural practices specific to cantaloupes; setting up procedures for mandatory food safety audits; expanding the program to cover all cantaloupe handlers in the state; and changing the number of board members.

In 2011, a listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes shipped by Granada, Colo.-based Jensen Farms claimed 32 lives and sickened at least 146 people in 28 states.

For more information, contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Glenn Yost at 916-900-5018.