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Protecting New Mexico's food supply topic of NMSU safe produce workshop

LAS CRUCES - To address potential consumer concerns about security of the U.S. food supply since the contamination of spinach, peanut butter, pet food and other issues, a safe produce workshop will be held May 30 with New Mexico producers, processors and retailers.


"We will have the president of the California Growers and Shippers Association, specialists in the Good Agriculture Procedures program, producers, retailers and researchers collaborating in a round table discussion to identify vulnerabilities and areas of potential contamination in New Mexico," said Billy Dictson, director of New Mexico State University's Office of Biosecurity in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

"The New Mexico produce industry cannot afford to ignore potential market loss that can occur when something happens that causes a loss of consumer confidence in the product," said Jeff Witte, director of Agriculture Biosecurity with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

The afternoon session will include a food chain assessment and vulnerability exercise.

This event is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts and is sponsored by the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center, NMDA, NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics and NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.

The free event will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, 705 S. Telshor Blvd., formerly Hilton Las Cruces. The Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center is providing a free working lunch.