Conference for Food Protection

2018 Biennial Meeting

Issue View | Council III | 2018 Scribe Packet

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Issue Number: Council III 013

Issue History

This is a brand new Issue.


Re-Create – Produce Wash Water Committee

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The Produce Wash Water Committee was created at the 2016 Biennial Meeting. This Committee completed the charges assigned. The Committee concluded that the information available to both food establishments and regulators on the use of water treatments for the purpose of washing and/or crisping fresh produce is limited and sometimes confusing. The Committee further concluded that a guidance document for washing and/or crisping fresh produce in food establishments, including the use of chemical treatments, would be useful and could enhance public health. Therefore, the Committee proposes the re-creation of the Committee and charge it with the development of a guidance document for this purpose.

Public Health Significance

The Produce Wash Water Committee created at the 2016 Biennial Meeting conducted an extensive review of scientific literature to evaluate the effects of using chemical treatments, in particular antimicrobials, in water used to wash, rinse, crisp or otherwise prepare fresh fruits and vegetables in food establishments.

The Committee found that scientific data supports the hypothesis that adding an antimicrobial treatment to the washing or crisping water in food establishments can reduce and, in some cases, prevent the risk of pathogen cross-contamination from water when produce is submerged in water.

The Committee further concluded that the use of antimicrobial treatments should be optional to allow food establishments the opportunity to assess their individual risks and apply preventive steps most appropriate for their processes. Such an approach is consistent with other FDA preventive controls, i.e., Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Committee concluded that food establishments would benefit from guidance on how to assess risk and implement preventive controls to address washing, crisping and the use of antimicrobial water treatments in food establishments.


Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that the Produce Wash Water Committee be re-created with the following charges:

1. Develop a Produce Washing and Crisping Guidance document for Retail Food Establishments.

2. Determine appropriate methods of sharing the Committee's work that includes but is not limited to a recommendation that a letter to be sent to the FDA requesting that the most current published edition of the Food Code, Annex 2 (References, Part 3-Supporting Documents) be amended to include the references used in the preparation of the PWWC White Paper (supporting document titled Supporting list to the documents reviewed which is attached to Issue Report - Produce Wash Water Committee).

3. Report findings and recommendations back to the 2020 Conference for Food Protection Biennial Meeting.

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