Minimum Food Safety & Testing Program for CEA

What is the minimum food safety testing I should consider at my CEA?

Hi. It’s Neda again with Microclimates. I want to thank you all for your questions.

Erika Summers, a mechanical engineer and also consultant in indoor farming, recently had been asking me some questions about food safety testing. What is a bare minimum level of food safety we should have in place?

I’d say there is lots, but I’m only going to point to two of them right now.

Number one, you should have an environmental monitoring program in place. Environmental monitoring program for pathogens, for indicator organisms. Know that if there’s pathogens in your environment, it will eventually end up in your product. So you need to have besides good sanitation practices and everything else, but you’ve got to have an environmental monitoring program in place. A robust one that’s testing your environment.

Next is ATP testing. That’s a quick and dirty test on the spot where you don’t have to wait 2 to 4 days for results. You can get the results instantaneously to see if there’s ATP present in your environment. At a high enough level, they could actually allow the pathogens to feed off and grow. So think of it as food for the pathogens that could potentially grow. A company that you guys can go to for ATP testing that I used to work with is Hygenia.

When it comes to environmental monitoring, setting up the program and the testing. Two of the companies that come to mind are Merieux NutriSciences with global laboratories and IEH laboratories also with a global reach.

If you have any other questions about food safety or anything else about environmental automation, shoot me an email. Post your questions. I’m happy to support you.

Thanks so much. Again and thanks for listening.