Food Safety and Other Announcements
Published: February 1, 2014
This issue was delayed for two reasons:
- So that the results from the tomato planting intention survey could be included. Please find the complete report as an insert. Once you have looked at it, please take a minute or two to return the postcard, so we know if it was helpful to you.
- And we were putting on IPM workshops at Lamar (2/12), Morgan County (2/19), and Jamesport (2/25).
Food safety or GAPs update:
- The proposed rule from 2013 of the Food Safety Modernization Act will be redrafted and released sometime this spring. This effectively means the final rule is unlikely until 2015. The FDA press release said several items are likely to be revised. Most notable for affecting produce auction growers were the recommendations for manure application and the standards/testing for water quality.
- On January 17th a food safety training was held at Morgan County Seeds. It was coordinated by the Central Missouri Produce Auction, Morgan County Extension Center and MU Extension. About 100 growers attended, and Lloyd Schrock from Kentucky assisted; Lloyd is with the Food Safety Team representing produce auctions. One item requested at this training was where to send irrigation water for testing.
Water testing for GAPs certification:
- For the next newsletter issue (planned for April) we will describe how to submit water tests to the county health department and provide a listing of additional private labs. The problem with these water tests is the samples must be received the day after sampling. The requirement/need to have a sample tested within one day is challenging for growers in rural areas, which is where a lot of vegetables are grown, especially by produce auction growers.
- In the meantime, Midwest Labs (which many of you are familiar with because of their soil testing services) does the correct test. The cost is $20 and is called "Generic E. coli and Total Coliforms". But they request one contact them ahead of time. They will ship you the correct sample containers and form to fill out. Their phone number is 402-334-7770. The test is under the 'Environmental-microbiology' area. Unfortunately only NW Missouri is close enough to Midwest Labs for Ground Rate UPS to deliver to them the next day. Thus next day shipping would have to be used for other areas of Missouri, at a significant increase in shipping cost.