As FDA finalizes previously proposed extensions to compliance dates for agricultural water requirements, the agency is providing an update on how it is using the additional time to ensure the feasibility of federal requirements and incorporate lessons learned from recent romaine lettuce outbreaks

A critical component to growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables for human consumption involves the use of agricultural water—water that’s likely to come into contact with produce or food contact surfaces. This can include water used to grow crops, to clean harvested crops, and water sprayed on harvested produce in order to prevent dehydration. Because water can carry pathogens that can potentially contaminate crops, agricultural water is a known on-farm route of produce contamination. It can be a potential source of contamination as well as a means by which contamination can spread.

 

Credit: NASA

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