Food safety partnerships must extend well beyond government, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The practices of growers and processors, with private sector supply-chain management are what make food safe, said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at FDA, in a blog post.
Taylor posted the message ahead of a meeting with Mexican government officials and producers of fresh fruits and vegetables from the US and Mexico.
Government makes the common base of standards and provides a measure of public accountability but verification that standards are being met is a joint public-private effort, he said.
“Historically, our government-to-government collaboration has come mostly in response to outbreaks, import alerts and other incidents. Now, we are focused on work we can do together to better understand potential foodborne hazards and take risk-based steps to prevent or minimize them,” Taylor wrote.
The meeting was sponsored by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and the Center for Produce Safety in Davis, California.