(April 21) A soon-to-be-published document on food-safety practices likely will provide a lot of insight but few changes in handling practices, according to the International Fresh-cut Produce Association.

The document, “Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Lettuce and Leafy Greens Supply Chain,” is a compendium of best practices, said David Gombas, vice president of technical services for Alexandria, Va.-based IFPA.

Gombas said IFPA asked members of the industry to name their best practices in production, processing, distribution, retail and foodservice, with the goal of compiling that information into one guidance document.

The document, which Gombas said likely will be published by the end of April, is a chance for processors to provide their own insights on protecting the integrity of lettuce and leafy greens.

“It’s intended to be supplemental to good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices, so those things have been repeated here, sometimes for emphasis,” he said. “It covers all the other things that are specific to lettuce and leafy greens, from farm to table.”

Publication of the document gives companies a chance to help one another protect their industry from episodes such as an outbreak of E. coli in Minnesota last October that was traced to certain lines of Dole packaged salads, Gombas said.