The University of Vermont Extension’s Northeast Center to Advance food Safety (UVM’s NECAFS) has released a series of factsheets on produce safety in hydroponic and aquaponic operations for educators, regulators, and producers. The new factsheets guide readers through produce safety considerations specific to hydroponic and aquaponic operations.

NECAFS, with guidance and extensive review from a national advisory group, created the educational resources to provide clarity and understanding for stakeholders. The factsheets discuss produce safety practices required by the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FDA’s FSMA), however, they are not comprehensive of all PSR requirements. Instead, the factsheets cover key points to consider when tailoring produce safety practices to the unique attributes of hydroponic and aquaponic operations. NECAFS offers factsheets on the following topics:

  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Fish Health and Handling
  • Harvest and Postharvest Handling
  • Personal Health and Hygiene
  • Wildlife and Domesticated Animals.

The work to develop the factsheets was funded by a grant from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (USDA’s NIFA’s) Food Safety Outreach Program. Representatives from USDA, stakeholder organizations, industry, and academia contributed to the creation of the educational material.