Food Safety Issues Related to Flooded Fields
Hello vegetable growers! You got a blog posting yesterday regarding flooded fields and possible plant pathogens; today's posting focuses on food safety issues. This in from Diane Ducharme our Extension Associate:
There is another issue here to consider ....food safety. FDA issued guidance effective immediately on flooded crops and fields. While crops are not in the fields, the soil has been flooded and I have take only this section out of the full guidance for reference below. Full document can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/
GuidanceRegulation/ GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInf ormation/EmergencyResponse/ ucm287808.htmEssentially, it says to do a field assessment using the outlined bullets below. I have bolded several of these of particular attention. The FDA's guidance documents reflect the agency's current thinking ,on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required. These guidances do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities.
V. Assessment of Flood-affected Fields before ReplantingAnd now you have the current recommendations, not laws from FDA on flooded fields concerning Food Safety concerns."
Do keep in mind that if you have products in the flooded fields- (lettuce, greens, etc) that were contaminated by the flood waters, that these items MUST not be harvested and sold. Food safety is a very critical and hot button topic. If you have any questions contact your local Horticulture Extension Agent.