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Home Grown

Home Grown: High-tech testing protects public from food-borne illness

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CBS 13's April Hettinger examines how local farmers keep their produce safe

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In Monday's Home Grown, the agriculture industry is always looking for new ways to improve food safety by taking extra preventative measures and improving technology.

Growers are testing produce more frequently to avoid potential outbreaks.

Robots and data collectors can now detect any contaminants before they hit the grocery stores.

They are programmed to run through the field and check each and every crop.

Walt Duflock, Vice President of Innovation for Western Growers Association they are also improving solutions to any food safety violations to help save produce.

"The number one way to prevent stuff is just to test as often as you can. Like most of our growers are testing very close to harvest. They will test the soil. They will test the water. They will test the product."

Timing is also a key factor in food safety.

Growers say there's no time to lose when it comes to crop contamination.

They test at three different times during the entire process during growing, harvesting and distribution.

Local News / News / Yuma County
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing


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