(March 2) The Food and Drug Administration has scheduled two public hearings on the safety of fresh produce to disseminate information on recent recalls and foodborne illnesses, as well as to solicit comments on growing, harvesting, packing, processing and transportation.

The hearings will address what federal actions, if any, are needed to enhance the safety of fresh produce and if there is the need to establish specific guidelines for different commodities.

Scheduled hearings:

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, third floor, 1301 Clay St., Oakland, Calif; and

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 13, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Md.

Audience members and others who want to ask questions or provide information to the FDA panel must follow guidelines for participation as outlined on Page 18 of the hearing notice: www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/07n-0051-nhc0001.pdf.

Deadlines for registration are March 12 and April 6.