Farm-to-Fork project focuses on safe cantaloupe production
Each year in the springtime, as the temperatures begin to warm up, the sun shines down a bit brighter, and rain continues nourishing plants and trees, early-season California cantaloupe farmers begin planting this year’s crop.
California cantaloupe farmers are always investing their resources in producing a safe, healthy product for you. That’s what Responsibly Grown means. The California Cantaloupe Advisory Board represents the highest level of commitment and quality for cantaloupe consumers. Did you know that California cantaloupes are produced under the only mandatory food safety program that invites government auditors to inspect all aspects of California cantaloupe production operations?
In an effort to contribute to ongoing food safety research, the cantaloupe industry in California regularly funds projects to improve the safety of their product through an organization called the Center for Produce Safety (CPS). California cantaloupe and melon farmers contribute $50,000 annually to CPS to fund the science-based research that ensures the safest possible practices are being applied to the production of California cantaloupes.
Recently, Dr. Laura Strawn, an assistant professor of food and science and produce safety Extension specialist at Virginia Tech, spearheaded a farm-to-fork study on cantaloupe in California and Arizona, Strawn and her team spent a week last summer observing cantaloupe harvest crews in Arizona and California and collecting microbial samples from various surfaces the fruit contacted during field packing. Without the open-arm reception the cantaloupe industry gave the project, Strawn said her team wouldn’t have been able to gain the real-world knowledge needed to make the results useful.
Your California cantaloupe farmers make it their purpose to produce a safe, responsibly grown product of the highest quality for you and your family. We invite you to explore the food safety section of our website, peruse the safety standards, and meet a California cantaloupe farmer.
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