Exposure of fruit and vegetable fields to flood waters can pose significant food safety concerns. These include the potential for direct contamination of the edible portions of fruits and vegetables to microbial pathogens or chemical hazards. FDA has recently posted a guidance document on its web site to advise growers on how to evaluate the safety of flood-affected food crops for human consumption. This guidance is non-regulatory at this time, but does represent prudent best practices that growers should follow in the event of flooding that might compromise food safety.
The guidance document “Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-affected Food Crops for Human Consumption” is available on the FDA web site at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodDefenseandEmergencyResponse/ucm274683.htm