(Aug. 9) In an effort to promote consistency in lettuce and leafy greens food safety research, the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association’s Research and Education Foundation is sponsoring an international food safety conference.

The International Food Safety Research Symposium on Lettuce and Leafy Greens is an invitation-only event designed to bring U.S., European and Australian researchers involved in lettuce and leafy greens research together with industry, government, agricultural extension and academic scientists. The symposium is scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in Washington, D.C., a week after United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference on Sept. 12-14.

The Washington, D.C.-based group’s Research and Education Foundation invitation-only event Sept. 20-21 in the nation’s capital, a week after United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference on Sept. 12-14. The International Food Safety Research Symposium on Lettuce and Leafy Greens is designed to bring U.S., European and Australian researchers involved in lettuce and leafy greens research together with industry, government, agricultural extension and academic scientists.

David Gombas, United Fresh’s senior vice president of food safety and technology, said the idea of the conference is to bring researchers together so they can exchange information and learn about the type of studies the industry needs to prevent duplicative efforts.

“Every researcher and every industry person out there has their idea of what’s needed,” Gombas said. “But getting those folks to talk about what’s already been done and what’s really needed so that we’re not wasting those very few research dollars that are available will be critical — and the only way we will get to the next generation of food safety for fresh produce.”

Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., and Salinas, Calif.-based Fresh Express Inc. have pledged grants to help fund the conference. The foundation is organizing the event with the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, the University of California’s Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.