Industry updates tomato metrics with new requirementsAn updated version of the Tomato Metrics is in place with new traceability requirements and environmental assessment mandates for growing and distribution locations that are near domestic animal operations. New label verifications are also in place for repackers.

The United Fresh Produce Association released the 2011 version of the Food Safety and Auditing Protocol for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain on its website June 23.

The rules, first published in 2009, were developed to “harmonize food safety audit standards for the fresh tomato supply chain,” according to a news release from United Fresh.

“The 2011 version takes into consideration the need for more extensive pre-plant and pre-harvest assessments, especially related to CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations),” Ed Beckman, president of California Tomato Farmers, said in the release.

The rules cover greenhouses, open-field producers with harvest and field packing operations, repacker/distributors and packinghouse operations. No changes were made to the rules for packinghouses.

A new requirement regarding environmental assessments of domestic animal operations was added to the field production and greenhouse metrics. Another new requirement of a two-hour turnaround time for reconciliation of shipped product records was also added for field and greenhouse growers.

Repackers/distributors now have a new verification process to ensure that incorrect labels or used labels, and used boxes, are handled correctly.