October 24, 2011
The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today issued guidance to the food industry on evaluating the safety of flood-affected crops intended for human consumption.
Crops can become contaminated when growing fields are flooded because flood waters often contain sewage, chemicals, heavy metals, pathogenic organisms and other contaminants. Growers of crops intended for human consumption are responsible for determining the safety of their crops when fields have been flooded. The new guidance will help growers make this determination by providing direction for assessing the safety of food crops when flood waters have contacted the edible portions of crops, and when they have not. The guidance also provides information on evaluating the safety of flood-affected fields before replanting, and avoiding cross-contamination of food crops after flooding.
The guidance is effective immediately. FDA will accept public comments on the guidance at any time.