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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has released a retail-specific guide for fresh-cut produce, using a total management approach to incorporate food safety practices into daily store operations.

The Total Food Safety Management Guide: A Model Program for Raw, Sold, Ready to Eat Fresh-Cut Produce is "based both on science and on practical, real-world conditions that must be taken into account for any program of this kind to be effective," according to Jill Hollingsworth, FMI's vice president of food safety programs.

Noting that the model was extensively field tested before being finalized, Hollingsworth said, "It's not enough to create a food safety model in a laboratory or on paper. The most important test is to ensure that it works in the store and provides management with active controls for making food safety an integral process throughout the store. That's why we field-tested this model to ensure it really can make a difference at retail."

The guide is based on the principles of the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system, an internationally recognized, science-based approach to food safety controls. The produce guide was designed by a diverse team that included microbiologists and experts in fruit and vegetable science, along with industry food safety professionals and retail produce department managers.

The produce model is the second in a series of Total Food Safety Management Guides, following one released earlier this year on ground beef. In the coming months, FMI will publish food safety models for deli salads, deli meats and cooked poultry. All the guides include a risk assessment, the identification of control points, good retail practices and examples of standard operating procedures.

To purchase these guides, go to:
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