Food Safety & Quality Assurance

The walnut industry has had an exceptional track record for food safety for over a century. Today’s growers and handlers are continuing that legacy with proactive ways to minimize any potential food safety problems with voluntary GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) inspections and GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certifications. Food Safety is critically important to the California Walnut Industry. California walnuts are grown and processed under strict quality control standards in order to deliver a high quality product year round.

The California Walnut Industry has earned a reputation for producing the highest quality walnuts in the world while maintaining an exceptional food safety record for a century. California walnuts are grown, harvested, and processed following strict Federal and State food safety regulations. As a result, California walnuts often exceed quality standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Walnut growers set the stage for producing a safe, wholesome crop by following the FDA’s new “Produce Safety Rule” and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s). During development, walnuts are uniquely protected by nature. Walnuts have both a protective hull and shell, which encase and help protect the kernel. Throughout the shelling process, rules established by the FDA called Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s), are stringently followed. These practices ensure walnuts are produced under the cleanest manufacturing conditions.

Allergen Labeling

Maintaining a safe environment for those with allergies is always top-of-mind for the walnut industry.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires food professionals to identify the presence of the eight major food allergens on food labels. As an amendment to the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, the FALCPA targets packaged foods regulated by the FDA. The FALCPA labeling law does not directly apply to foodservice operations.

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a very small portion of the American population is allergic to peanuts (0.6% to 1.3%) or tree nuts (0.4% to 0.6%). Reading ingredient labels for all products and asking questions of your suppliers is the key. The FARE organization is a great resource for information on food allergies.


The California walnut industry has spent more than a century caring for the land, the people with whom we work and our local communities. This approach has helped our industry grow and thrive, and to be sustainable for generations to come.

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$2.2 Million Spent on Food Safety Training and Research since 2009

The California Walnut industry continually invests in food safety training and food safety research projects. Since 2009, the California Walnut Board has spent more than $2.2 million on food safety training and research activities.

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