United Fresh offers food safety tool for produce wholesalers

A new document designed to assist produce wholesalers and distributors develop food safety plans is available from the United Fresh Produce Association.

"Wholesalers face many of the same food safety regulatory challenges that other members of the produce supply chain do under the Food Safety Modernization Act, but the unique nature of the wholesale produce business means the rules apply differently to these types of companies," Jennifer McEntire, vice president of food safety and technology with United Fresh, said in a news release. "It's critical that wholesalers and distributors understand their responsibilities under the new rules, and this new publication provides step-by-step guidance on assessing how the rules apply to your operations and developing the appropriate company food safety plan."

The publication, "How to Build a Food Safety Plan", is available to order on the United Fresh website

for $100 for United Fresh members and $300 for non-members, according to the release.

The document was developed with the support of the National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers, according to the release. That group previously published a food safety plan builder for wholesalers written by McEntire.

The new publication includes templates, developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance, that companies can use to develop and implement their food safety plans, according to the release.

"The Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule applies to facilities that are required to register with the FDA, which applies to most wholesalers and distributors," John Motley, president of NAPAR. said in the release.

"These companies need to develop a food safety plan to be considered in compliance with this rule, as well as to meet customers' expectations and requirements."