There is a critical need to educate produce industry members on the successful identification, evaluation, and response to produce safety hazards and risks. This is particularly evident with managing agricultural water but applies to a breadth of current and future produce safety challenges.
- Roughly 186,000 fruit and vegetable farms need resources and training to improve food safety practices and comply with new regulations
- Improvements in clinical diagnostics and epidemiology reveal the emergence of new pathogens, such as the parasite Cyclospora which causes ~150,000 illnesses in the U.S. each year.
We urge Congress to invest in produce safety research, extension and outreach, including $3M annually for continued produce safety grower training required by regulation and $5M to USDA NIFA specific to Cyclospora support