[Market-farming] Ohio market farmer cited for washing raw produce

Robert Farr rbfarr at erols.com
Thu Oct 29 15:23:30 EDT 2009

For my salsa business, I'm required to pass a water test once each 
year.  This ensure the water is free of all contaminants, including e-coli.

Not a bad thing, really.

I'm curious if that's what this is about.  Though knowing the 

Robert Farr
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Road's End Farm wrote:

> On Oct 29, 2009, at 1:06 PM, Marie Kamphefner wrote:
>         Earlier this week it was brought to our attention that a
>         vendor in Lake County [OHIO] was cited by the local board of
>         health for selling “washed” vegetables and greens. The local
>         health department official was enforcing a new interpretation
>         of food safety rules that assumed washing greens with water
>         was “food processing” and a farmer who was not a licensed
>         “processor” washing them was making an “adulterated” (unsafe)
>         product.
> Was he selling them as "washed ready to eat"?
> Or was it just that he had rinsed them off to get the field dirt off?
> It's my understanding that those are two different categories and that 
> for "washed ready to eat" you may indeed need a food processing 
> license, at least in New York State. If you've just washed them to get 
> the field dirt off, but are not telling the customer it doesn't have 
> to be washed again when they get it home, that's different. It sounds 
> as if the inspector may have gotten carried away and confused "washed 
> ready to eat" with "rinsed the mud off". -- at any rate, I hope it's 
> just that inspector!
> When customers ask if the produce is washed, I always say "New York 
> State tells me that I have to tell you to wash everything! We just 
> rinsed it quickly to get the mud/dust off. "
> As far as the water goes: certified organic growers are required to 
> use for produce wash water only sources that pass an annual potable 
> water test. As far as I know, there's no such requirement for 
> conventional growers; but it's not a bad idea to get one. Many people 
> have no idea that their household or farm wells are contaminated; 
> their own systems are used to the bacteria that's in there, so they 
> don't get sick themselves, and assume that the water is fine.
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
>Market-farming mailing list
>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
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