Management of ag water safety is a key focus area of CPS research. Several CPS research projects offer guidance on the subject. A computer app from University of Arizona helps growers establish a FSMA Produce Safety Rule-mandated Microbial Water Quality Profile. Marc Verhougstraete, Ph.D.’s work offers counsel for sampling irrigation canal water. And more help is on the way; in 2018, CPS specifically called for studies of ag water treatments.

“We need active engagement from all industry stakeholders…to shift the paradigm from why we can’t do it, to what should we be doing. It comes down to keeping abreast of CPS research, looking at risk factors and developing best practices.”

Natalie Dyenson

Dole Food Company Vice President of Food Safety & Quality

Takeaway Questions for Industry:

  • Has your company reviewed CPS’s ag water safety research, and adapted your practices accordingly? For example, do your irrigation pipes intake water from the bottom of the source, or the top?
  • Have you reviewed your sources for ag water, and assessed any risks they may pose?
  • What practices can influence the potential for potentially-contaminated water coming in contact with the edible portion of the crop?
  • Should you shift from overhead irrigation to nonfoliar irrigation?