ARLINGTON, VA –  Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, chief food and product safety officer and senior vice president, food safety, for FMI- The Food Industry Association – offered the following comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan, which was released today.

Thesmar said, “FMI will champion industry efforts to influence supplier and grower food safety practices and enhance regulatory engagement throughout the supply chain. We support the agency’s action plan as a tool that will further the food industry’s focus on foodborne illness prevention efforts and strengthen food safety around leafy greens.

“The primary goal of all retailers and wholesalers is to maintain the health and safety of its customers. The romaine lettuce outbreaks and consumer advisories that led to complete product withdrawals from the market in 2018 and 2019 were devastating to retailers and wholesalers, the produce industry and consumers.

“As a result, we created the FMI Recommended Food Safety Practices for Leafy Greens guide to assist in preventing contamination of leafy greens, to increase communication across the entire supply chain, to protect consumers and the safety of products they consume, and to facilitate effective response to food safety incidents should they occur again.

“We look forward to our continued work with the FDA on its New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative and blueprint.”