EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Sprout Alliance for Safety and Science announced its formation less than a week after Kroger said it was discontinuing the sale of sprouts due to the food safety risks.
Sprout growers, seed suppliers and other sprout-related groups can join the alliance. Members will have to be part of a verification system to ensure compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines for sprouts as well as other safety standards.
Read more: Kroger Stops Selling Sprouts
“The sprouting industry knows how to produce safe sprouts,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sholl, president of The Vista Institute, in a statement. “Problems occur when a sprouter doesn’t comply with safe growing practices. We wanted to form an alliance of growers that are not only prepared and dedicated to complying with government guidelines, but able to meet additional rigorous standards that the Sprout Alliance for Safety and Science are developing.”
The alliance said it has three core functions:
- Develop, maintain and provide verification for a set of science-based operating standards that represent best current knowledge on how to grow safe sprouts.
- Provide a common communication channel to get important and factual messages regarding sprouts out to the trade and consumers.
- Invest in important scientific research, training and education.
“I am very happy to see this new organization taking a leadership role in addressing sprout safety. Sprouts are a challenging product, and it is time for members of the industry to get ahead of the safety issues related to sprouts,” said Dr. Les Crawford, former FDA commissioner, in a statement.
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