Email Print Site Map
UC Food Safety
University of California
UC Food Safety

Produce - Preharvest

UC Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Several publications on the key points of control and management of microbial food safety as part of the management plan of good agricultural practices for produces, handlers and processors of edible horticultural crops.

Produce Safety Alliance (Cornell University)
The Produce Safety Alliance was established at Cornell University with funding from the USDA and FDA.  The Alliance is developing a nationwide curriculum to increase understanding of the principles of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and to facilitate the implementation of food safety practices on fresh fruit and vegetable farms and in packinghouses.  

On-Farm Food Safety Project
This website includes a free online tool which generates customized on-farm food safety plans based on user input. The tool is designed for use by small to mid-scale fruit and vegetable growers and provides a full set of record keeping tools to document food safety programs.

Activity-Specific Food Safety Information

Agricultural Water

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  

Commodity-Specific Food Safety Information

Aquaponics

Cantaloupe

Controlled Environment

Culinary Herbs

Green Onions

Leafy Greens

Mangos

Tomatoes

Co-Management of Food Safety and Sustainability

Emergencies

GAPs Information Sites - Other Non-UC Sources

GAPs Training Opportunities

Current Registration Information for ALL GAPs Courses.

Prior GAPS Courses:

Management of Soil Amendments

Other Links

Site Creation date 6/1/2009
Webmaster for site:  Zann Gates

Webmaster Email: zgates@ucdavis.edu