The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) tasks vegetable and fruit growers with testing their well water and surface water sources for generic E. coli. Enforcement of this water testing will begin in 2022.
Production Water is any water used before harvest that touches the marketable portion of the crop. For each well water source of Production Water, growers will need to do four tests in the first year, and then one every year after that. For each surface water source, they will need to do 20 tests within four years, and then five per year after that. The expectation is that growers create a rolling four-year numerical data set of samples for each water source to calculate a Microbial Water Quality Profile. The samples must be delivered to the lab within 6 hours of collection for quantitative tests. The Food and Drug Administration has approved of nine quantitative methods for testing Production Water, listed here: http://go.uvm.edu/t6el4
Postharvest Water is any water used during or after harvest that touches the marketable portion of the crop. For each well water source of Postharvest Water, they will need to do four tests in the first year, and then one every year after that. Water cannot have any detectable generic E. coli for postharvest use, and no untreated surface water is allowed for postharvest use. The samples must be delivered to the lab within 6 hours of collection for quantitative tests, and within 30 hours for presence/absence tests. Any of the nine approved quantitative tests are allowed for Postharvest Water, in addition to seven approved presence/absence tests, listed here: http://go.uvm.edu/r1g57
We need your help to determine where growers can turn for these samples. By submitting your lab's information below, we can place your lab on our nationwide map of testing locations for fruit and vegetable growers. The map, which will be continuously updated and eventually distributed to produce growers, can be found here: http://go.uvm.edu/waterlabmap
Note: Questions about this mapping project? Please contact Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety, Hannah.Doyle@uvm.edu