WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety
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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 April 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 agricultural water source 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 collected as close to harvest as possible over a period of at least 2 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.

These tools were developed to make it easy to calculate the GM and STV and to determine if your water meets the standards for unrestricted application to produce before harvest. The tools were also designed to assist you with making food safety management decisions if your water does not meet the standards in the proposed rule.

Untreated Ground Water:

The initial MWQP must be established with a minimum of 4 water samples collected as close to harvest as possible over a growing season or over a period of one year. Geometric mean (GM) and Statistical Threshold Value (STV) are calculated from these 4 samples. 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 a minimum of 1 new sample. “Rolling” GM and STV values are calculated by combining the old and new sample data. The one new sample combined with the most recent 3 samples from the previous MWQP are used 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 standards for unrestricted application to produce before harvest. The tools were also designed to assist you with making food safety management decisions if your water does not meet the standards in the proposed rule.

Untreated Surface Water:

Untreated Ground Water:

Links are also available on the UA Fresh Produce Safety website  


April newsletter highlight...

FDA Feeds Meeting

The Feeds Curriculum Development Team met in Davis in April to continue development of curriculum for feed regulatory inspectors for the National Food Safety Curriculum.

Read More..


Western US Irrigation Water Conference April 24-25 Summary Report Available

Western US Irrigation Water Conference

The purpose of this summary document is to record the key points and recommendations that were discussed over the course of the conference. We hope that the information contained herein will help stimulate further conversation and consensus on effective strategies to implement the agricultural water quality standards in the Produce Safety Rule. 

Download the summary.

Institute on Science for Global Policy

Regulations

FDA

UPDATED: The Food and Drug Administration extends comment period on requesting scientific data, information, and comments that would assist the Agency in its plan to develop a risk assessment for produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (including raw manure).

Comments are due by July 5, 2016.

To submit comments electronically to the docket, visit www.regulations.gov and enter FDA-2014-N-1497 in the search box.

The Constituent Update addressing this announcement can be found here.


For more information:

FR Notice
Q&A with Samir Assar
Produce Rule


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