It might be said that Washington takes the popular adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” more seriously than any other state. That’s because Washington produces more apples than any other state, supplying a whopping 60 percent of the domestic market and 90 percent of all apples exported from the U.S., boasts the Washington Apple Commission.
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Explore this issueOctober/November 2016
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Washington produced 5.910 billion pounds of apples in 2015 worth $2,396,250,000, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Apples accounted for some 19 percent of the state’s total agricultural value in 2014 (the most current information available as we go to press).
The only state named after a U.S. president also takes food safety seriously.
At the core of the outstanding food safety efforts in the place that, along with California, Alaska, and Hawaii, is one of just four states that have active volcanoes, is the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA)’s Food Safety and Consumer Services Division (FSCSD). With all the power of Mount St. Helens (remember 1980?), which is one of Washington’s five major volcanoes, great food safety initiatives flow freely from the FSCSD.
“The Division includes a food safety program, an animal feed and rapid response program, an organic program, and a food assistance and regional markets (FARM) program,” says Susie Bautista, recall coordinator for the WSDA Animal Feed and Rapid Response Program (Feed/RRP).
The Division’s Food Safety Program (FSP) is responsible for compliance, including the licensing, inspection, and sampling of food processing facilities, food warehouses, and dairy farm operations throughout the state, Bautista relates.
About Linda L. Leake, MS
Linda L. Leake, doing business as Food Safety Ink, is a food safety consultant, registered SQF contract auditor, and award-winning freelance journalist based in Wilmington, N.C. Specializing in agriculture, food, food safety, and travel, her articles have appeared in some 89 print and online publications. Along with garnering awards for her articles and photographs, she holds the prestigious Master Writer status with American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Majoring in Dairy Science, she completed a BS in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Food Safety at Michigan State University. She’s an active member of IAFP, Toxicologists Without Borders, Inc., and the National Dairy Shrine. She’s currently enrolled in the International Development Doctoral Program at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. Reach her at Llleake@aol.com.