For Immediate Release: July 31, 2020
Contacts: Robert Sakata 303-947-3097 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn Bay Drake 303-594-3827 or email@example.com
The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is monitoring the salmonella outbreak potentially associated with raw red onions, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified in 23 states outside of Colorado. Today’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted its investigation is ongoing, but it has identified the California-based provider who has agreed to issue a recall of all varieties of its onions. See the FDA announcement: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-newport-red-onions-july-2020
“Colorado produce growers hold food safety as their number one priority,” said CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton. “CFVGA has been and will continue to be proactive training produce growers in science-based produce safety risk reduction protocols for them to incorporate on their farms. Produce consumption is very important for human health, and we will do everything we can to ensure our produce is safe and wholesome.”
Over the past five years, CFVGA has held dozens of Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule training classes for Colorado growers and has offered training to assist growers in developing individual food safety plans for their farms. CFVGA partners with Colorado State University Extension, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Western Growers and other organizations to bring comprehensive, current food safety training to produce growers throughout Colorado.
“While there are no confirmed cases of Salmonella newport in Colorado, we are keenly aware of the impact any type of food bourne illness has,” said Sakata, “We are actively seeking information about this outbreak to see if there are any things we can do differently to safeguard the public by protecting the Colorado onion harvest that is just starting.”
The CFVGA is comprised of approximately 250 members, including produce operations of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.