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Experts talk food safety technology at AgTechX event in Yuma

Experts at the local, state, and regional level came together Wednesday in Yuma to talk food safety.

The AgTechX event was designed to highlight the latest research in food safety technology to help growers rapidly respond to and prevent future food borne illness events like listeria contamination that closed a Dole production plant in Yuma in December.

Sonia Salas is Assistant Vice President of Food Safety, Science & Technology for Western Growers, which serves farmers in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico.

“Innovation and technology can drive improvements in food safety so we need to connect all these efforts in one place to make sure we do enhance food safety," Salas said.

The two-day event is being held in Yuma during the winter vegetable season to kick off a year of acceleration in food safety technology, said Dennis Donohue, Western Growers' Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, Calif.

"Yuma and Salinas are joined at the hip when it comes to vegetables," Donohue told KAWC. "For all intents and purposes, it's the same go-to market. I think that us working together is an important signal to the general public how serious we are to continue improvement in food safety."

Organizers said the AgTechX event continues today with field visits around Yuma County.


Stay tuned to KAWC to hear from Paul Brierley of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture Friday morning on Arizona Edition as well as some of the innovators behind food safety technology.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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