Reclaimed Watewater : Threat to Fresh Produce that Grow Close to Ground
This is particularly true when they are irrigated with reclaimed wastewater. Though a conclusive risk assessment data may be absent, but pathogenic viruses and parasites can get onto or into the plants via this route.
Reclaimed wastewater in agriculture poses a new challenge to food safety.
Certain viruses and single-celled parasites (protozoa) can defy environmental influences and cause diseases via raw fruits and vegetables.
Climate change, unpredictable weather patterns and droughts can deplete water resources. Water reuse is intended to protect the environmental and human and animal health.
Fruits and vegetables that can be eaten raw, in which any pathogens that are present are not reduced or killed by heating, need particular attention.
Pathogens can get onto or into the edible parts of the plants via all of the irrigation systems, like subsurface drip irrigation, drip irrigation, furrow irrigation, sprinkler system,hydroponic culture and cause illness in humans when consumed raw.
Wastewater treatment therefore requires suitable methods for inactivating or reducing pathogens before being used for irrigation.
The contamination of food and feed is a global threat to food safety and has great public health and economic significance. Consider for example, `mycotoxin' contamination - it is weather dependent and so when to control and use technologies to decontaminate grains and other crops should be known. Risk can however be unpredictable when commodities like grain, cocoa, coffee, spices, dried fruits or nuts are imported and the analytical and control systems must therefore be vigilant at all times. more
If applicable, samples can be collected by the laboratory itself or any other person authorized by the laboratory. Report can be supported by the location details from where samples collected for analysis. more