Iowa State University Extension and Outreach food safety specialists will be providing free agricultural water food safety testing for up to 100 hobby gardeners and very small fruit and vegetable producers in Iowa for an upcoming ISU Extension and Outreach research project titled “Educating Iowans about the importance of water food safety when growing fruits and vegetables.”
Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule requires fruit and vegetable growers to test all agricultural water that is used for handwashing and during the growing, harvesting, and processing of fruits and vegetables. This rule requires that this agricultural water must have less than 126 colony forming units of generic Escherichia coli for safe production.
The ISU Extension research team wants to assist hobby gardeners and very small farmers with testing their agricultural water utilized within their fruit and vegetable garden or farm. The first 100 agricultural water samples will be sampled for the presence and quantity of generic Escherichia coli at no cost. Only one agricultural water sample per garden/farm and growers must be located in Iowa. All sample criteria must accompany the sample.
To participate, three items are needed:
1. Two sample of at least 500 mL of agricultural water from an untreated surface source (e.g. pond, lagoon, rain barrel, etc.) or untreated ground (e.g. well) source provided.
o Collect in a sterile container (such as a specimen cup from a doctor office or an unused emptied water bottle)
2. The use of this agricultural water (e.g. handwashing, drip irrigation, overhead irrigation, produce rinsing)
3. Indicate the market the fruits and vegetables will be sold or given to (e.g. food pantry, grocer, restaurant, farmers market, hospital, school, etc.)
Please send the items with your contact information including name, address, phone number and email to:
Attn: Angela Shaw
2312 Food Science Building
Ames, IA 50011
If you have any questions, contact ISU Extension food safety specialists Angela Shaw, email@example.com.
This research project is funded by Iowa State University Human Science Extension and Outreach.