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

Sisters of the Soil 2soilsisters at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 15:32:26 EDT 2009


We learned from conversation during our very first organic certification
inspection last year that we do not "wash" but only "flash cool" produce and
we consistently tell everyone that they need to wash produce before eating
it, whether it is certified organic or not.  Who would have guessed that
organic farming would be just as laden with semantics as any other
occupation out there?

Doreen

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Robert Farr <rbfarr at erols.com> wrote:

> 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
> inspectors.............!
>
>
> Robert Farr
> CEO, Chief Marketing Officer & Communications Counselor
> Executive TextTM - using written communications to increase sales*Visit http://www.thechileman.com for hot sauces, salsas, and more!*
>
>
>
> 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
>
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-- 
Sisters of the Soil
Jennifer and Doreen

2soilsisters at gmail.com
Jenn 484-3676
Dor 830-1841
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