Trade groups the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association (United) and the Produce Marketing Association have released new food safety guidance for the entire melon supply chain.

Developed by a group of leading produce food safety experts and representatives of operations within the industry, the guideline document is called 'Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Melon Supply Chain'.

"United, PMA, and our industry partners have made food safety our top priority," said Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president of quality assurance and technology for United.  "We are committed to continual improvement of produce safe handling practices and suggest that all companies involved in the melon supply chain consider the recommendations contained within these guidelines."

PMA, United and industry partners also support educational outreach efforts to assure awareness and use of available melon food safety information. In addition, the two organizations will work together to review and implement these and other important produce industry food safety guidelines.

"Our organizations and the government also share the common goal of assuring consumer confidence in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables," said Kathy Means, PMA vice president of government relations.  "The myriad health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption are well documented, and we will take all necessary steps to make our industry's products as safe, nutritious, and delicious as possible."