(Dec. 5) It is not called “Fresh-Cut Produce Safety for Idiots,” but a new Food Marketing Institute retail-specific food safety guide for fresh-cut produce does bring a practical and real world approach to food safety programs, said Jill Hollingsworth, FMI vice president of food safety programs.

The Food Marketing Institute, Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3 released the guide using what FMI calls a total management approach to incorporate food safety practices into daily store operations.

“The Total Food Safety Management Guide: A Model Program for Raw, Sold, Ready-to-Eat Fresh-cut Produce” is “based both on science and on practical, real-world conditions that must be taken into account for any program of this kind to be effective,” Hollingsworth said in a news release.

The plan was field tested before completion.

“The most important test is to ensure that it works in the store and provides management with active controls for making food safety an integral process throughout the store. That’s why we field-tested this model to ensure it really can make a difference at retail,” Hollingsworth said.

FMI said the model was tested by Silliker Laboratories and that the produce guide was designed by a team that included microbiologists and experts in fruit and vegetable science, along with industry food safety professionals and retail produce department managers.

The produce model is the second in a series of Total Food Safety Management Guides, following one released earlier this year on ground beef. In the months ahead, FMI also will publish food safety models for deli salads, deli meats and cooked poultry.

FMI said the fresh-cut produce guide provides other food safety management tools, such as sample logs for recording storage and display temperatures, wash water interventions, good retail practices and model standard operating procedures.

  • FMI members may purchase “The Total Food Safety Management Guide: A Model Program for Raw, Sold, Ready-to-Eat Fresh-cut Produce” for $50 by calling FMI Publications and Video Sales at (202) 220-0723 or by visiting FMI’s Web site, at www.fmi.org/pub/. The price for associate members is $85, and the price for nonmembers $100.