Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh and the North American Tomato Trade Work Group have published the second edition of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain.

The 53-page document provides the latest food safety guidance related to water, workers and soil factors, and it includes components for all companies along the supply chain, including retailers and food-service distributors.

During the past 12 months, more than 40 scientists and industry experts from academia, government and the fresh tomato industry reviewed the latest food safety research findings and industry practices as they revised the first edition of the guide, which the work group published in 2006.

"Significant efforts were made to involve as many associations, agencies, companies and individuals with expertise in food safety practices for one or more steps in the fresh tomato supply chain as possible," David Gombas, United senior vice president of food safety and technology, said in a press release. "We wanted everyone's input on this so we could be as thorough as possible."

The California Tomato Farmers and Florida Tomato Exchange have said they support the revised guidelines as the basis for mandatory national food safety standards for the fresh tomato industry.

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