The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering imposing a new set of national regulations to lower the risk of foodborne illness in salad greens.
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service says its new proposal for companies that process leafy greens is modeled on the voluntary food safety guidelines drawn up in California after last year’s E. coli outbreak in fresh, bagged spinach.
The agency says under the new rules, companies would have to follow a set of guidelines for handling and processing salad products. But they still haven’t decided if the rules would be mandatory.
One approach would let companies decide if they want to participate.
Many California farmers would prefer it if all leafy greens handlers had to comply with the same standards as they do.
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