WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety
News

WCFS Mission Statement

The mission of the Western Center for Food Safety is to research the interface between production agriculture and food protection, identify real-world solutions to food safety challenges in these systems, and communicate new knowledge through outreach and education.

Recently Added:  updated June 2016

Activity-Specific Food Safety Information

Agricultural Water

Quality control of wastewater for irrigated crop production (FAO, United Nations)

Agricultural Water and the Produce Safety Rule

The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) requires growers to initially establish a Microbial Water Quality Profile (MWQP) for each untreated agricultural water source used during growing activities of covered produce (other than sprouts) using a direct water application method and conduct annual surveys for that water source in subsequent years. The water quality profile is based on the levels of generic E. coli in your agricultural water. There are different requirements for agricultural water that comes from surface or ground (well) sources.

More information on the Produce Safety Rule and agricultural water can be found here:
www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334114.htm

Untreated Surface Water:

The initial MWQP must be established with a minimum of 20 water samples that are representative of use and collected as close to harvest as possible over a period of at least 2 years to a maximum of 4 years. Geometric mean (GM) and Statistical Threshold Value (STV) are calculated from these 20 samples (minimum). The GM and STV are your MWQP and should be compared to the microbial quality criteria provided in the Produce Safety Rule. 

After the initial MWQP has been established, GM and STV values must be updated annually based on a minimum of 5 new samples. “Rolling” GM and STV values are calculated by combining the old and new sample data. For example, for an MWQP established with 20 samples, five new samples would be combined with the most recent 15 samples from the previous MWQP to update the MWQP and confirm that the water is still being used appropriately.

Untreated Ground Water:

The initial MWQP must be established with a minimum of 4 water samples that are representative of use and collected as close to harvest as possible over a growing season or over a period of 1 year. Geometric mean (GM) and Statistical Threshold Value (STV) are calculated from these 4 samples (minimum). The GM and STV are your MWQP and should be compared to the microbial quality criteria provided in the Produce Safety Rule.  After the initial MWQP has been established, GM and STV values must be updated annually based on a minimum of 1 new sample. “Rolling” GM and STV values are calculated by combining the old and new sample data. For example, for an MWQP established with 4 samples, one new sample would be combined with the most recent 3 samples from the previous MWQP to update the MWQP and confirm that the water is still being used appropriately.

Tools to calculate Geometric Mean and Statistical Threshold Value:

Several tools were developed to make it easy to calculate the GM and STV and to determine if your water meets the criteria for appropriate application to produce before harvest. The tools were also designed to assist you with making water management decisions if your water does not meet the criteria in the Produce Safety Rule.

Untreated Surface Water:

Untreated Ground Water:

Links are also available on the UA Fresh Produce Safety website  


April newsletter highlight...

Soil Summit 2017

Michele Jay-Russell and Alda Pires attended the Soil Summit hosted by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) and the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University. The Soil Summit brought together the farming community, compost and soil experts, extension educators, industry members, and state and federal regulators to discuss the challenges and benefits of using raw manure and compost on fruit and vegetable farms. 

Read More..


2016 FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshop
May 17, 2016
Wenatchee, WA

This training for orchard and packinghouse food-safety managers will review sampling and testing methodologies to address microbial water quality in irrigation source waters necessary for compliance with FSMA agricultural water testing requirements.


The classroom instruction will cover location, timing, testing equipment and practices.  We will provide transportation to/from the classroom to the field site where there will be demonstrations on site selection, sample collection and handling. 

 

Register for this event.


 

Institute on Science for Global Policy

Regulations

FDA

FDA Announces Draft Guidance to Help Sprout Operations Comply with Produce Safety Rule

January 19, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued for public comment a draft guidance to help sprout operations meet new standards designed to help keep sprouts free of contamination and safe for consumers to eat.

Sprout operations have new requirements under the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Sprouts present a unique risk because the conditions under which they are typically produced are also ideal for the growth of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Between 1996 and July 2016 there were 46 reported outbreaks associated with sprouts in the United States, accounting for 2474 illnesses, 187 hospitalizations, and three deaths.

(PDF 1 MB)


Publications
Publications Recently Updated...

Research
Current Research Recently Updated...