Good Fruit Grower

October 2015

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Page 12 of 47 GOOD FRUIT GROWER OCTOBER 2015 13 from farm through transportation to retail, she said. FDA expected to publish final rules for preventive controls for human and animal food in August, with the final rules for produce safety and two import-oriented final rules following in October. Wagner said that during the long phase-in period, not only will people in the industry be educated through ongoing issuance of written guidance documents, but the regulators themselves will be trained in ongoing class- room learning and updates on industry best practices. "We're going to be in a continuous learning mode as we roll out our industry oversight strategies and imple- ment these rules," she wrote in a document posted on the FDA website. "We are going to monitor and evaluate our oversight strategies to determine if we are achieving desired results—for example, widespread industry com- pliance with the FSMA rules. If we are not achieving the desired results, we will tweak our oversight strategies, perhaps pilot different approaches. "I can say we rarely invest resources in assessing whether our implementation strategies are working. For FDA, this is a very new way of doing business," she said. Lawyer's view Nemeth is a partner in the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, where he works on complex commercial liti- gation, including food and agricultural cases, from his office in Chicago. "FSMA will generate litigation," he said. While private individuals can't sue directly under the new law, litigants will cite the law as evidence of negligence for failure to comply with the statute. There has been a surge in food lawsuits in recent years, he said, and it appears to be driven by lawyers and advocacy groups, not directly by consumers. Attorneys are "actively working to find potential plaintiffs," he said. There is also evidence of a new harshness in the treat- ment of companies whose products cause illness and death. In the case of Jensen Farms, for example, where Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes resulted in 32 deaths and dozens of hospitalizations, the Colorado company was sued for millions of dollars by 46 families in 12 states. The owners were forced into bankruptcy, and were themselves ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution and received five years' probation, six months' home deten- tion, and 100 hours of community service after findings of criminal negligence. Food contamination by salmonella has been a recur- ring issue, he said, but Listeria poses a serious threat, with 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths a year. Dozens of Listeria lawsuits have been filed since 2011, he said. Best practices minimize risk Nemeth recommended that companies in the food production business use best practices to minimize risk, and that they closely follow the guidance FDA will develop as FSMA is implemented. Not only should they have good food safety practices in effect, they should be able to demonstrate—and document—that the company is serious about meeting and exceeding food safety standards, Nemeth advised. A program that rewards employees for excellence in food safety, for example, would say a lot in the event of a problem. Have a plan, he recommended. A company should have a crisis management team—one that includes an attorney. Know how to use smart communications in the event of a situation that might lead to a recall. Make sure that documents are preserved and that good public relations procedures are used. Be careful what is communicated in emails. Buy insurance, and make sure the policy addresses the risks your company faces, he said. It is a good idea to meet with the insurance company's agent, with a visit to your facilities, so that risks are identified and the policy addresses those risks. • W W W.W I L L A M E T T E N U R S E R I E S .C O M ( 503 ) 263-6405 TOLL FREE: ( 800 ) 852-2018 Prunus avium/P. mahaleb M.106/M.7/M.26/B.118 Gisela Series Kyrmsk Series OHxF Series Geneva® Series M.9 Clones CANBY, OREGON are planted with the most popular seedling, semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties: Like our rootstock, our service will grow on you. All Fruit tree rootstock is Oregon certified virus-free. We also grow a great selection of rootstock varieties for apple, peach pear and plum including: MALUS ANTONOVKA MALUS DOMESTICA PRUNUS PERSICA 'LOVELL' PRUNUS CERASIFERA PRUNUS MARIANA PRUNUS MYROBALAN PYRUS CALLERYANA PYRUS COMMUNIS PYRUS USSERIENSIS PROVENCE QUINCE APPLE PEACH PLUM PEAR Safe and Effective Plant Nutrients and Biopesticides ® Botector ® Blossom Protect ™ ® ® ® ORGANIC ® ORGANIC Herbicide EC ®

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