The Associated Press reports that California State Senator Dean Florez plans to introduce a bill that would create a system to track produce from farm to table, and would impose new regulations on the produce industry with the aim of reducing the likelihood for E. coli contamination, particularly in leafy greens.
In response to Senator Florez’ announcement that he would be introducing legislation that would impact the argiculture industry, the Western Growers Association plans to introduce self-regulation measures that would go into effect before February 1.
Both proposals will specify how large and deeply buried fences must be to keep out stray animals, and how far away from livestock areas crops can be grown. Both will likely specify allowable bacteria levels in irrigation water.
Under his plan, shippers and handlers would also have to create a "trace back" system to enable health officials to quickly determine where contaminated produce was grown.