New Resource on Agricultural Water Quality Available

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS), with the help of Western Growers, its scientific advisors at IDS, Inc. and the Produce Marketing Association, has produced an important new report that summarizes factors that affect the microbial safety of agricultural water.

The document, issued earlier this month, summarizes all of the research CPS has conducted on agricultural water over the past five years.  The report, titled Agricultural Water, is billed as a produce industry resource to help individuals and companies better understand the state of agricultural water knowledge in regard to food safety.  According to CPS, this report is intended as the first in a series.

True to CPS’s reputation for providing user-friendly and applicable food safety research for the produce industry, Agricultural Water is organized into four different topic areas:

  • Presence, Quality and Persistence of Human Pathogens in Agricultural Water
  • Transfer of Human Pathogens in Ag Water to the Farm and on Produce
  • Managing Agricultural Water Safety
  • Tools to Assess the Risk Posed by Agricultural Water Use and Practices


Under each topic area, information is translated into a summary of what we already know from the existing scientific body of evidence; what has been learned to date through CPS-funded research and what is currently being researched.  The report ends with a review of what still needs to be done. This will be an invaluable tool in guiding researchers as they submit future proposals and in making sure industry resources are devoted to building on existing knowledge, rather than duplicating what has already been established.

When CPS was created in 2007, the over-arching goal was to help the produce industry grow even safer food by providing us with the best available knowledge on food safety.  For the LGMA, this is a critical factor. We have made a commitment to protect consumers by ensuring a set of science-based food safety practices, or metrics, are being followed on leafy greens farms.  Our program is designed to be flexible so it can be updated when new information is learned.  The work done by CPS through their research and this report, and others to follow,  is critical to ensuring LGMA metrics are, in fact, the best available anywhere.  The individuals at CPS, Western Growers and PMA who were involved in this report undoubtedly spent countless hours putting it together and we thank them.

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