Hydroponics Food Safety

Mar 18, 2021 20:59 · 10397 words · 49 minute read

good morning i’m glad everybody’s here we had a good uh registration returns we had over 22 people who signed up for this program today this program is going to be talking a little bit about uh some of the regulations and food safety aspects on on small scale aquaponics and and hydroponics units that we need to be aware of so we can mitigate any kind of pathogens human pathogens that may be in the system so we don’t have food that are contaminated with e coli listeria salmonella that can get out so we can do produce safe and healthy food for our consumers out there so we have three presentations today the first one’s going to be on aquaponics and hydroponics and fisma regulation by dr laura strawn associate professor extension specialist at virginia tech followed by reza ovissipour i hope i got your name he’s going to do a food safety program for aquaponics and last is dr kim is going to present some of the stuff that you’ve been working on we’ve been going out doing some surveys of small-scale aquaponics and hydroponic units out there throughout the state we’ve been all over the state haven’t we dr kim yeah yes so he’s going to produce cover some of the research data that we have collected so far so with that uh dr strawn i’m going to turn it over to you so you can present your program each of you got about 20 minutes so don’t let that be a hindrance so we’ve gone over a little bit on these programs so uh it’s all yours now perfect and all of you can see my slides and hear me okay yes ma’am sorry i have a roomba in the background that keeps turning on so all right today i wanted to kind of give you guys just a really quick um overview of the food safety modernization act specifically the produce safety rule because i believe that is the one for aquaponics and hydroponic operations that you may encounter um we’ll talk a little bit about the regulatory requirements um it’s actually not terrible so i’m hoping that with this 20 minutes i can give you a nice overview um some information and then also if you think any of this applies to you um you have so many people on the phone as well as myself and dr ovissipour dr kim who would be more than happy to kind of walk you through the specifics or uh what not to your operation so with that the food safety modernization act as fisma as the acronym you guys probably most here um this is really the biggest revamp to our food safety um in this country um in about 70 plus years since the food drug and cosmetic act of 1938 and it really shifts um our food supply to be more of let’s prevent this right versus responding so much um of our food safety in this country has been responding to outbreaks um whether that be uh something um in like 1993 where we saw jack in a box with all the um e coli o157 h7 infections due to undercooked uh hamburgers where now we see um it’s very important to cook your hamburger meat and we see a lot of regulations that came out of that we’re really going towards more of that preventative framework i tell people all the time it’s sort of like putting on a seat belt when you drive a car um there are seven regulations that are part of fisma um they span every aspect or corner of food safety or food in this country all the way from produce safety which would be you know growing and packing holding different things for produce uh to prevent the controls for human foods animal food foreign supplier verification rule um third party accreditation sanitary transport um and adulteration of food so it really encompasses everything and again it was all about shifting that framework to prevention let’s think about it before it happens and that will hopefully make us not have these large scale issues as when we see some of these contamination issues um really it’s a lot of things that go wrong not just one little mistake it’s several mistakes so the produce safety rule in particular um is really uh basically the first time ever that produce has been regulated in this country before it was all voluntary it’s a science-based minimum standards for the safe growing harvesting packing and holding of produce it addresses several major areas from worker training health and hygiene to water to biological soil amendments of animal origin animals equipment tools and buildings as well as some other things and if this sounds a little bit similar to gap which would be good agricultural practices it is it is very similar the foundational practices and principles are very very similar however this is not a gap certification unlike gap the fisma produce safety rule is a federal regulation we’re going to talk about kind of how it’s mandated in virginia but um it’s actually a food and drug administration fda um regulation gap uh good agricultural practices is a third-party audit system um it’s voluntary it’s required often by buyers so i think that’s where sometimes people think it is mandatory but it’s not you don’t know you don’t have to have a gap audit that means that you don’t have to sell to that person um but this is typically something like i said that’s mandated by buyers um asked by buyers uh and it really opens up your market access so something to think about the fisma produce safety rule like i said while they have overlapping elements this is really the floor or the foundation of your house for food safety anything in terms of gap or getting more complex those are really just other levels right putting on a second story of your home so how do you even know if the produce safety rule affects you um that would be a completely entire lecture on its own but um typically uh you fall either into you’re covered fully by the rule you’re exempt where you don’t have to worry about the rule at all or you’re this qualified exempt category and there’s two things i’m going to draw your attention to one there’s the fda coverage and exemptions flow chart however vce or virginia cooperative extension has really decided to make this even easier for uh folks to figure out we’ve developed a qualtrics survey um stuart bermack put that together with a team we have it in english and spanish you can take this survey online it walks you through your operation and it’ll let you know at the end where do you fall are you covered are you exempt are you qualified exempt we also have this uh is a paper copy if you’d like to print it out or contact one of your local agents to print it out for you and walk it through i’m happy to do this with you as well so those links are on the screen and i’m also happy to share this presentation or post it online um here is just a really quick snapshot of what the um fda that’s the color one with the gold red and gray that’s the fda flow chart as well as you can see our virginia cooperative extension um it’s very smartphone friendly and we have a lot of resources for fisma if you are uh in fact covered by the regulation or in that middle category where you’re kind of covered but not really how is the produce safety rule regulated in virginia well like i said it is under fda’s authority however uh the virginia department of agriculture and consumer services vdacs has established an agreement with fda um and passed legislation a couple years ago where they are gonna do the enforcements in virginia this is fantastic news for virginians um because it allows us to work with um locals uh where market access and uh you know virginia grown and the economics of actually growing and producing food is so important right so uh vdacs i’ve worked with several of their staff they are very friendly all about education before regulation and it’s a great thing for virginia and the inspections that they’ve done thus far have been very very successful um i’ve also included a link uh to their produce safety program and on this next page i’ve also included some direct contacts eric bungo is the program supervisor anne mcgee is the assistant program supervisor they are very very friendly they have a lot of forms and information and resources on their web page this is just a snapshot of a resource that would help you figure out where are you covered are you not and then if you fall into that category where you may only be partially covered uh or you’re exempt you can actually have this form on hand and do an annual um check to say uh to make sure that you’re still in the right category so it’s very very nice and again there are a whole host of extension agents around the commonwealth that are very familiar with helping you figure out determining your status and then what you need to do in terms of the compliance dates if this is the first time you’ve heard of it no big deal you’re probably because you haven’t heard about it might be on more of the smaller side and that’s sort of where we’re seeing uh we just started enforcement on that in 2020 um they won’t actually start real inspections until 2021 so and that is important to know that just because of what’s going on with covid they are still uh very focused on food safety so i had someone asked me recently well with everything with covid are we kind of not caring about food safety um that’s not true we’re still very much concerned with food safety and having different um issues and you know focusing on that um but you can see if you’re a very large business where you bring in over a half a million dollars a year they’ve already had inspections um they’re probably now on their second or third inspection but the very small businesses which are that twenty five thousand to two hundred fifty thousand range they will just be starting to get involved in it so if this is the first time you’ve heard of it um it’d be really great um if you think it’s um something that applies to you or you want to learn more about food safety um i’m going to talk to you at the very end about a class we have coming up in november which is going to be held all virtually where you can learn all about the specifics and ins and outs of this regulation what you need to do and even if it doesn’t apply to you right now you never know your business could grow to where you might be over those financial thresholds where you might need it and it’s a really great class and we offer it a really nice discounted rates right now in virginia so i’ll give a pitch on that later so let’s talk a little bit about what is that rule um the produce safety will say about aquaponics operations um and there’s not a whole lot right they focus a lot on growing crops um in traditional uh outside mediums fields a lot of greenhouse um production but they do mention aquaponics and hydroponic operations and there’s really a couple things uh that they key in on and that’s what i want to highlight for you all today to just start thinking about so like i said they’re not excluded from the rule that was one misnomer is that aquaponics you don’t have to worry about produce safety but if you are growing produce absolutely this is something that you do need to think about if you are potentially um covered by by the rule um there is no specific section for aquaponics you have to kind of go on a little bit of a hunt and find uh mission but again i’m gonna make it really easy for you and and show you all the the certain parts that you need to care about um sprouts if you are growing sprouts they actually do break out sprouts it’s its own separate sub part in the rule and they actually have their own specific sprout classes um for food safety because sprouts are considered a bit more higher risk here are the preamble comments um where fda addresses aquaponics and hydroponic operations but again i’m going to give you the cliff notes version uh today but if you like to see that codified language um this will make it easy for you to find so let’s talk about fda’s comments on fish um fda got a lot of comments from different folks that fish do not carry e coli and that’s one of the things today that i wanted to kind of put that myth to bed fda has shown data as well as other literature that fish can become carriers of human pathogens including some of those that dr crosby mentioned in the introductory talk um some pathogenic e coli uh salmonella and if especially if they’re exposed to these contaminated um types of products it could be uh the water is contaminated and the fish pick it up that way it could be sediment it also could be a feed so it’s also very important to think about things that those fish can be exposed to and why it’s important to minimize cross contamination but because we know that fish like other animals could in fact become carriers of these human pathogens this is why it kind of all plays into making sure that they don’t have any potential cross contamination with that produce being grown in those systems so the subparts uh specifically uh with aquaponics comments i mentioned there’s three of them agricultural water biological soil amendments and domesticated animals and wild animals and i’m going to give you just a really quick overview of what each of those has to say about an aquaponic or hydroponic operation so when it comes to agricultural water this doesn’t matter really what your system is it’s all about understanding if you meet the definition of agricultural water and does it apply to you so agricultural water under the rule means water used in covered activities on covered produce where water is intended to or likely to contact covered produce or food contact surfaces so there is a quite extensive list of covered produce there’s only about 34 commodities that are not covered but any kinds of leafy greens strawberries things that are likely consumed raw are typically covered produce covered activities are really growing the harvesting the packing all those typical things that we would do to grow and produce good wholesome food is the water likely to come in contact this is the big question right and you could make the case that it’s not but i’ll give you some things to think about you really have to think about your system and if anything goes wrong in it could that water come in contact with that product and if it does then it would fall under agricultural water and you’d need to follow the requirements so like i mentioned um covered activities uh all about just growing harvesting packing covered produce um they do define it in the rule and you can see a list of of commodities but it’s typically anything that’s normally consumed raw um strawberries apples carrots um to fit the definition of agricultural water it’s got to come in direct contact with that harvestable portion of the produce so we’re not talking about the roots um so if you have something like a system with a raft where you might have the leafy greens growing on top with the roots exposed to the water if you can ensure that that water is not going to come into contact then maybe agricultural you don’t meet the definition of agricultural water so this is where you have to really think about your system and the potential risks and these are the things that i want you to think about when you decide do i meet that definition of agricultural water are you spraying produce mist overhead applications it would be agricultural water are you inspecting your system to ensure no leaks sprays can water potentially come into contact if there’s an issue how when you harvest or pack would it ever come into contact so oftentimes you might lift up the raft um and that’s a potential cross-contamination there where that water could come into contact with the other growing uh produce on the other rafts potential contamination from fish splashing water uh again depends on your system so really important to think about do you meet that definition of agricultural water if you do then what do you have to do you have to make sure your water has zero detectable generic e coli and then there are some testing frequencies but right now they are under consideration at fda um so right now we would just want you to be testing maybe once during the season or at the beginning or the end and i would really defer to dr ovissipour and dr kim for those specific recommendations maybe based on some of their research with biological soil amendments this is subpart f they basically say liquid only matrices uh they’re not growth media they’re going to be kind of under your agricultural water because they’re liquid um any growing substrates um that would include like raw animal manures things like that they might fall under biological soil amendments of animal origin but most growing substrates that i reviewed do not really include what they would define as a biological soil amendment of animal origin which would be those raw animal products that haven’t been uh treated also for domesticated and wild animals um this typically when you think of a field being grown uh outside that makes perfect sense right you’re gonna have animal intrusion and whatnot if you’re in a greenhouse you’re probably thinking of pest management um this really um is basically if you’re being if it’s grown outdoors at all it’s grown in a partially enclosed building um you’re going to need to think about domesticated wild animals because they could potentially get in if your aquaponics system is in a fully enclosed building this doesn’t apply to you um and that’s mostly because you can control what comes and goes and you’ll be focusing more on uh sanitary practices in that type of facility and it doesn’t necessarily also apply to the fish clearly they’re there for a purpose um so they’re they’re not considered any type of animal under this subpart but you do have to think about the risks from fish in that agricultural water section that we spoke quite a bit about so our kind of summary and take home message since this was sort of our really quick uh overview in 20 minutes is that aquaponics and hydroponic operations they’re not excluded from the fisma produce safety rule um it’s really important whether you are very small or a different size medium large to determine if your operation is covered please use those virginia cooperative extension resources to help decide um again you can do a paper uh survey that walks you through it asks you some questions it’s really nice you can do it on your smartphone if that is uh something that’s available to you um and this way you’ll know right and you’ll kind of know what do i need to do if you think that you may be uh covered it is really important to get into one of our produce safety alliance classes and i’ll talk about that on the next slide it’s also important to determine um if your operation uses agricultural water as defined by the fda so we talked about under the fda produce safety rule fisma agricultural water is defined by coming into contact with a food contact surface or that harvestable portion of your produce so you have to really think about how am i using my water in my operation and does it meet that agricultural water definition if it does there are things that you need to do this is very different by the way than good agricultural practices because good agricultural practices like an audit which would be voluntary something you sign up for that you want to increase your market they always require some type of water testing it doesn’t matter if it comes into contact or not that is not how they define agricultural water um and so if you’re interested in uh pursuing gap um i know dr ovissipour has some great resources and my other colleague amber vallotta also has a mentoring program to walk you through those steps so fisma compliance has several parts but if you’re covered we have lots of resources and educational materials and people to assist you in virginia um here’s also some really interesting um good information uh as well on the resource tab um and with uh gosh just like the last 30 seconds i have i wanted to highlight we are going to have november 10th 11th and 12th from about 2 to 5 p.

m so we’re hoping people can work in the morning um and then take a little break in that late afternoon uh window we’re gonna host a produce safety rule training class it’s in a virtual format this is an official training uh class approved by the fda when you attend this basically it’s about eight hours of instruction um you get a certificate the certificate is good for life um it follows the person so if you start an operation and then move to a different operation or whatnot that certificate goes with you it is yours again it’s good for life um and it basically will walk you through in that eight hour class all of the requirements for the produce safety rule about the history the science behind it things you need to think about or do and it is the only class right now approved by the fda um to meet uh that training piece that you would need if you were covered under the regulation additionally the course includes a really nice food safety manual or educational manual um it’s of course going to be mailed to your home since it’s in a virtual format um and then you would you know you’ll need to zoom online sort of like we’re doing today but the manual is really nice um if you think that you may be interested in any other type of food safety program this gives you a great foundational base so i really encourage you if you’re interested in this training class please email me we will have our registration go live towards uh the middle to the end of september and again it is a great opportunity um in virginia we typically cover the cost of the certificates and the training manuals that’s at least an 85 dollar value that you get for free um i think right now for the class we’re just gonna be charging uh the postage and a little bit of printing for the material so it might be like 30 bucks um total um which again these classes in other states because they’re all being offered the same uh some of them if they have grants are being offered less but i know in california you can see these classes upwards to 500 dollars with that um thank you and i’ll take any questions um but i know my colleagues are going to do a really great job setting you guys up for uh the next couple phases laura thank you so much i think we’re going to go ahead and move through all the talks and just have questions at the end to cover so that way we have plenty of time to answer all the questions that people may have so again thank you it was very great i’m going to turn it over to reza and let him talk about safety plans for aquaponics uh reason you’re up next thank you so much thank you dr strawn uh i think i already shared my screen can you see that or you guys yeah screen just just make it yes you can see perfect does it work right now yeah go to full screen with your slides you show on the next one try to go full screen if you can so yeah i think it’s oh okay give me a second then i need to stop sharing and i need to re-share that screen too there you go perfect thank you so much thank you dr strawn and thank you dr crosby for organizing the meeting uh well i’m reza ovissi i’m assistant professor and extension specialist at the vsarec and department of science and technology at virginia tech today i will be talking a little bit about the food safety plans development for aquaponics system um i will be talking a little bit about the food safety risks associated with aquaponics some part of our research and also we will share uh one of our documents uh which is a kind of food safety plans comprehensive food safety plans developed by virginia tech and washington state university and it is available online and we have been covering we we covered actually different aquaponics system and processing i will go through that and uh we’ll touch that a little bit as much as i could but if you want to have access to the full document it is available online so um one of the major issues that we have with aquaponics even when we talk to the expert people uh since they think there is no uh a recall there hasn’t been any recall so far there shouldn’t be any problem with the food safety but technically it is coming from our limited knowledge about this system this system is very complicated as uh other researchers they have been talking about that during the last couple of weeks we have fish bacteria water and plants at the same time in a system which all of these components each of them they have their own optimum conditions and they need to have their own optimum conditions which might be different from the other component but we need to make sure that we are keeping them under the optimum condition excuse me under the optimum condition because otherwise uh they can go through the stressful condition and opportunistic pathogenic bacteria they can grow easily in the system and they can cause some problem down the road uh fish we don’t really uh consider them as a food safety thread in an aquaponic system because we cook them and eat them it’s not a really big deal so another uh another area which hasn’t been addressed pretty well is the fate of the microorganisms in the system and we should consider the natural microbiome in the system in one of our research uh we were able to show that if we have a good microbial community in the system we can get rid of the vibrio uh for with four lack reduction within 24 hours without adding any antibiotic to the system just because of the good bacteria they’ve already been established in the system and they can take care of the bad bacteria usually the natural microbiome which are the good bacteria in the system they are a slow growing bacteria it takes months to year to develop a good microbial community system in an aquaponics or a ras system and pathogenic bacteria they are rapidly growing bacteria but uh these microbiome they can uh they can eat or graze on the bad bacteria and they can reduce them so it is really important uh to keep the system as healthy as possible to provide enough oxygen enough temperature optimum condition to reduce uh the prevalence of the pathogenic bacteria in the system there are some other concerns about the regulations some of them they are not pretty clear there are too many small scale producers which i am pretty sure dr kim will address that and each of them has different uh processing system or technologies which makes it very difficult to develop a specific food safety plan for them um we have some false assumption about fish water and manure as dr laura strawn addressed that pretty well and so the moment that the water becomes in contact with the edible part of the plants it will be considered as agricultural water and we need to treat them so there are so many different bacteria viruses and protozoa in the ras system which we are not really concerned about them when we are talking about the ras but when we mix that with the plants uh these pathogenic microorganisms can become a really uh threat for the system and for the human consumption we need to consider them so there are two sources of pathogens in the system some of them they naturally exist in the system and some of them they just being introduced to the system because of the cross contamination since we have two different types of pathogenic bacteria or microorganism in the system uh we can have different methods for preventing them for naturally exist bacteria like listeria monocytogenes we can enhance the uh we can keep this uh we can keep the system as healthy as possible and the microbial community can take care of the bad bacteria and for the cross-contamination we can apply different preventive control sanitation training to reduce that there are different sections in an aquaponics system uh which might be uh the source of uh contaminations the equipments the new fish that we are introducing to the system uh the bad bacteria or the bad microbiotal community in the system if we don’t provide enough oxygen for example for microbial community in the biofilters technically so they cannot take care of the bad bacteria in the system feed is another source of cross contamination they can introduce different types of pathogens into the system uh feed needs to be purchased from the accredited companies we need to keep them under the optimal and proper condition and we need to keep the pests away from the system because they can be another source of cross-contamination and also we need to provide enough training for the uh workers uh water sanitation is one of the most important things technically so there are different methods of water sanitation uv or ozone in aquaponics system could be used when we are transferring the water from the aquaculture section to the plant part proper hand washing and training for uh workers in the plants um plant and fish processing sanitation some people actually they don’t want to deal with the uh food safety issues uh they instead of using edible plants they are using ornamental plants then they don’t have to deal with the food safety so they’re following so following gmps and gaps might help and also post harvest sanitation these are the overall uh preventive controls that we can have in an system or any food processing system for reducing the pathogenic bacterial prevalence um we actually have been working on food safety plan for different aquaponics companies during the last couple of years and a food safety plan there is a difference between food safety plan and haccp so technically a food safety plan consists of the primary documents or written documents in a preventive control food safety system which can provide a systematic approach to identify prevent and control the food safety hazards in a system and the goal of using the food safety plan is reducing the chance of someone getting sick from the food material um the food safety plan must be prepared or have already been prepared and needs to be implemented as a written document in a food safety in a food processing plant and it should be uh developed by the pcqi preventive controls qualified individuals um technically we have seven uh sections when we are developing the food safety plan so uh we need to have a written hazard analyzes pretty similar to the haccp we need to develop the preventive controls for each hazard analyzers uh for process food allergens and sanitation uh they will we need to develop supply chain program recall plan and procedure for monitoring the implementation of the preventive controls corrective actions and verification procedures and the fsp or food safety plan is a document and is a record which must maintain in properly and we need to keep it uh available in the food safety in a food safety document um there are always three questions when we are developing the food safety plan uh who develops the fsp what should be done and how should it be done so uh technically the pcqi is the one who is uh developing the fsp and this person doesn’t necessarily need to work for the company it can be hired as a kind of consultant and develop this and oversees that and provided for the company but when the first time we developed the fsp or whenever that we make some modification on that the owner operator and agent that they are working who they are working that company they need to sign that and apply it and we need to have a record of that um there are different types of documents requirements and haccp uh when we are working with the uh fstp so i’m not gonna go through the type of documents and the haccp i will be focusing on the requirements a little bit here uh so i will be talking about the worker health and hygiene training sanitation facilities and water in next couple of slides just to give you some examples of uh how we developed the food safety plan for uh for a kind of for a food company so for example when we are developing the health and the hygiene we need to make sure that we are uh addressing the injuries and illnesses we need to have a preventive control and we need whenever that it happens we need to seek the medical attention and if the person uh is ready to go back to the work uh they need to have the permission to return to the work so and i think during the covid right now we will have more restrictions at this moment and more measure controls for bringing sick people or cured people to the to the work so for hygiene we have different components uh for example food should be actually we need to provide a specific area for eating food um following the gaps and gmps and following the gmps like don’t bring the jewelries watches or any type of uh external material to the processing plant proper hand washing all of these actually need to be addressed when we are developing the fsp uh for sanitation different schedules who when what and what type of sanitizers are being used what is the procedure how they are cleaning the surface uh they they need to be addressed and storage of the chemicals also needs to be addressed uh same thing for the facility there are different parts of the facility uh and there are concerns with them like screens doors drains lights and toilets they need to be addressed and proper preventive control and uh corrective actions need to be developed for each of them um like dr strawn explained the water for a food safety plan if the water source is from the city annual checkup uh might be enough well water at least annually and surface water three times per year would be enough for fsp um so some some facilities they have haccp plan and they don’t want to deal with the fsp so uh technically if they are satisfied with their haccp plan and the hasa plan is come comprehensive and can cover everything that would be enough and if they want to develop more documents they can develop recall brand and a supply chain program and add to the haccp plan and there is no specific format for fsp it’s pretty flexible any format works and there are many teaching examples available through different extension program all around the united states and we have one example for aquaponics uh which can be used for different uh aquaponics system uh through the vse uh so and uh it’s very dynamic um so whenever uh that is needed we can make some changes usually people they make they revisit that every three years uh whenever that we have new equipment or system new people on board new information about the potential hazard or unanticipated food safety problems so we can go back always and check that and make some changes uh it’s pretty dynamic and there are differences between fsp and haccp i’m not gonna go through all of the details here but as you can see there are differences i just brought this here if you want to go through that later you can use that i will share the slides with dr crosby so um and um technically there are different types of uh fsp for different processing plans so uh we uh in 2018 in collaborating with other uh experts from other institutions we were able to develop a comprehensive document for a food safety plan for an aquaponic system and uh so we developed this and this document is in 79 pages it is available and it covers different types of aquaponics system including the coupled and one loop aquaponics system for the production part and multi-loop or decoupled aquaponics system and we have uh fsp for processing the fish and for processing the lettuce that’s an example this is a typical food safety plan so this is for the fish culturing in a decoupled and coupled aquaponics system um we have the processing step potential hazards and preventive controls for each step and for each potential hazard we have uh fish processing for live fish uh fish processing for different types of fish whole fish bled or cleaned and for lettuce cultivation lettuce processing all of the information are available is available uh in this document if you want to go through and use that this is an example and pretty much uh we try to cover uh different types of aquaponics system uh which can be used as a model for other uh processing plant or aquaponics system so uh we have been talking about the sanitizer since we have a little bit time i just wanted to talk about our program here at virginia tech we are working on different sanitizers uh we are working with activated water we applied that successfully and we were able to uh have a full reduction of different types of pathogenic bacteria we recently started working with nanobubbles for aquaculture and aquaponics system and this nano bubble technology works perfectly for removing uh biofilms and we applied that for a real aquaponics system have an aquaponics system it’s been set up almost 12 months 18 months ago and we took water from the real aquaponics system and conducted our research we’ve got very interesting results as you can see here we have uh we have a complete reduction of biofuels for e coli and uh listeria innocua and vibrio parahaemolyticus uh on different surfaces at different time time of exposure and we use plant-based material for inactivating pathogenic bacteria in water and using the uva light or led which which are being used for uh aquaponics system for plant parts and we got very interesting results we had complete reduction of lipoparamiliticus and uh more than three lack reduction for aeromonas hydrophila so we use aquaponics water and we had uh compared that to the uh control and we had complete reduction for vibrio paramiliticus for control and it was pretty close i mean we had more than six lug reduction for uh vibrio parametricus in an aquaponic water we didn’t filter it was turbid with organic load we were able to kill the bacteria easily using uva and uh plant-based uh antimicrobial components and also we use nano bubbles for killing bacteria in aquaponics water using nano bubble and ultrasound and we had complete uh reduction or a full reduction more than six lug reduction uh after 10 minutes exposure of bacteria and cell suspension to different uh uh regimes including nano bubble and ultrasound so um yeah so i tried to provide information as much as i could if you are uh interested to learn more about these technologies or learn more about the food safety plan so please feel free to reach out to us thank you so much hey doc there’s a question in the chat box do you happen to have a link to that uh handbook that you showed on page i believe 76 of the 79 pages of sure yes i will copy the link into the presentation and i will share the presentation with dr crosby or i can share that right now yeah i think i put the link in the box for everybody thank you dr strawn thank you thank you yeah perfect because i would go say that’s an extension publication so you should be able to get from the extension publication at virginia tech okay we’re gonna move right along with dr kim we’re gonna have him talk about some of the research we’ve been doing at virginia state on these small systems dr kim it’s all yours okay are you able to see my screen no yeah i can see your screen just make it full full screen if you can do away with next slide just go to full slide please okay full slide as always all right anyway again i’m chyer kim working at the virginia state university okay you know most of all big thanks for inviting me to this food safety for aquaponics and hydroponic session well the today what i’m going to talk about is what kind of research we are doing in the food safety and microbiology program related to aquaponics and hydroponics research so the topic i’m presenting today is a part of usda project so we know that is about the aquaponics and the hydroponics production in virginia and proof of concept generally recognized as safe intervention against potential risks why this topic was proposed because i mean if you are following what’s going on in the world these days we have a huge problem which we never thought about before it’s going to happen in real world not you know we thought just it happens in movies only but because of that lots of people concerned about food that they are consuming and where they buy so most of all the u.

s census in 2018 indicate that approximately 80 percent of americans live in urban areas because of that demographic changes and the food insecurity associated with urbanization urban agriculture including aquaponics and hydroponics has been gaining attention for its health environmental economic benefits and increased food security for urban populations furthermore domestic farmer groups are interested in small and mid-scale aquaponics and hydroponics production to satisfy the local and regional demand for safe high quality fresh produce and aquaculture products however potential implications of food safety in aquaponics and hydroponic systems are not well established especially in virginia so now why a food safety and microbiologist came up with this project in other words why does food safety matter because food borne illness in the u.

s alone impacted 48 million americans per year and 128 000 hospitalization 3 000 deaths and cost billions of dollars as you see here i just did not make these stories up you can find this information from this website right there so therefore this project is to assess microbial quality in current aquaponics and hydroponics production in the commonwealth of virginia and developed a generally recognized as safe environmental friendly intervention method for aquaponic systems and finally to enhance local food safety compliance to food and drug administration food safety modernization acts as dr strawn well addressed about what the fisma is and that she explained everything but we emphasize what is fisma is fisma is transforming the nation’s food safety system by shifting the focus from responding to foodborne illness to preventing it in other words fisma rules are designed to make clear specific actions that must be taken to prevent contamination so what do we do you know with this project so how do we do this project is we are acquiring samples from fresh produce and water tank film interface bio filter and the fish skin swabs from different locations of agriculture and the hydro aquaponics and the hydroponics farming systems in virginia and then we analyze for water quality microbial quality and the fish health and finally we also want to use group of concept pathogen biocontrol methods such as probiotics to control any potential you know risks associated with those products and what and then what we find with from this study will also provide stakeholders with findings through fact sheets and then newsletter articles so that we can educate you know the stakeholders you know including me and in others as well so prior to or before the unprecedented covid 19 pandemic outbreak petrified us we have done we have visited five schools and three residential areas and one correctional facility we were trying to go there i mean some other places more but you know they were reluctant to you know receive us so that’s the kind of situation we are in but we you know have collected you know pretty good numbers of you know samples so this is a representative picture of aquaponic systems at the school this slide shows the answer and then next slide is another picture of the representative hydroponic systems at a school giving an example of tradition i was told by the collaborating teachers that the school cafeteria used the products produced from the school aquaponics and hydroponic systems so they are pretty you know confident about the quality of their products and then this is this slide shows a picture of aquaponics systems at a residential area and then another one also shows that one too but this one we you know went to the right time and you know right place as you see then you got pretty good amount of crops letters plants materials and this is a picture of aquaponics systems at the department of correctional facility so we you know for this one like you know we missed the prime time so that we don’t we we don’t have the good crops in this water but i think i when i was listening to dr ovissi’s presentation he had similar you know photo like this but he had the crops unfortunately on top of that you know the plastic barrels here so you know the correctional facilities they have all tilapia growing in these barrels of water and then you know supposedly crops suppose grow on top of this rack so and this is another representative picture of hydroponic systems at the department of the correctional facility so of course you know pretty good size of the facility and you know like tomatoes here but it’s kind of a little out of the season past the season so you know but you know they of course they use these products for feeding inmates and this is aquaponics systems at virginia state university cooperative extension in one of the examples and then this is uh this slide shows a very simplified aquaponic system that we have at virginia state university corporate extension so this is a general you know background information i have and so far so now let’s get to the results what we found from the samples we have collected from different sites so here as you see you know the data shows the water quality of the you know the samples we have collected from different sites so the recommended range for parameters of ph alkalinity and hardness nitrogen dioxide total ammonia and temperature should be this range however interestingly most of places where we got sampled from was off or off from you know the off range of ph a little bit higher and then what’s the most interesting thing was the hardness is way higher than the recommended range like 530 or 344 so this is you know somewhat concerning and then total ammonia content was a little bit you know a little bit higher than the recommended range as well and the microbial quality so before i talk about microbial quality you will see we got pretty good numbers of samples because because of multiple sampling sites at each facility sample numbers are much higher than numbers of facilities that that we visited so here microbial general total microbial account was like about eight logs so it’s you know pretty high but you know because i’m assuming that the water has not been never disinfected or sanitized at all and then produced microbial count was you know about eight logs as well and then and then there are some two bacteria we have we recovered or you know detected from the food materials uh like e coli listeria salmonella aeromonas but again this is these are consumptive data also the confirmation are still in progress in my lab from this microbial quality data most interesting thing most striking as a matter of fact we found was from the hydroponics system which had some produce e coli like about 33 percent of produce we have tested had this much of e coli you know privilege you know the presence of e coli so assuming that probably you know good agricultural practices or good handling practices were not followed i guess because you know and then also water quality but in the in interesting water didn’t have any you know we didn’t detect any e coli at all so obviously people who are handling produce may be maybe the concern so that’s what we found so far due to the probably due to you know the cross-contamination so that’s the just just the general you know the result we have found the data we have found then you know based on you know with this information what are we going to do what are next of course because we need more samples to get better understanding of aquaponics and the hydroponic systems in virginia because of the sample size we have well not that many so we cannot confidently say that you know this is the real situation where we you know what’s happening so you know i am soliciting taking about taking this opportunity you know please if you happen to know any aquaponics or hydroponics farmers who are interested in analyzing their products please have them contact me or let me know you know of course the testing will be done for free and please spread the words that i will be more than happy to collect samples from farmers in this area of course confidentiality is the foremost priority in our business as well so next with that you know so assuming that we have that much of concern so we want to validate the validated bio control of fish pathogens using proof of concept generally recognized as safe probiotics so here we have some kind of episode about this project that i was involved in one you know georgia farmer you know was calling me and asking me he had the concern of his quails because he has a like high mortality rate of quails infected with the black mold aspergillus so at the same time you know coincidentally i was working on another project with uh you know the fuji the company just introduced you know probiotics they were trying to commercialize these products and doing all kind of genetical analysis everything so i introduced each other and then what they you know in our lab scale what we did was we inoculated eggs with black mold and then we treated them with probiotics so these are the examples of the eggs infected with the black mold and obviously they are growing and then these ones are not these ones are infected with aspergillus black mold and treated with probiotics clean not single spore at all but this this is a kind of different you know the sending of study we have done that one too so that was kind of interesting so you know you know i introduced and then i reported what i found to both of them so they were so excited and then as far as i understand that the quail house farmer now is spraying probiotics into his farm and then he was so happy with it so you know that was when i heard from him like about a year ago so about two years ago so you know i know i haven’t checked on him afterwards so but probably he said if he was not happy probably he would yell at me calling me and probably said a lot of stories but i never heard anything from him you know after so i think he’s happy with it and then this is uh another you know close you know the close-up of that photo so this is a probiotics and then here black mold obviously you know the clear inhibition zone surrounding probiotics on the plates are showing so this kind of findings we can provide to stakeholders so that this there are some potential intervention methods because lots of people are concerned about you know the you know the preservatives or chemicals or chlorines or like you know so this is a more you know organic i would say and then safe to be used because obviously you know everybody consume the yogurt as a source of probiotics so you know that’s another you know the potential there so what do we expect from this you know project so from this project we are expecting scientific water quality and microbial quality information on the food products produced through aquaponics and hydroponic systems in virginia and improve local food safety outcomes by training stakeholders and increasing their ability to comply with the fda fisma regulations therefore consumer confidence in locally grown products produced through aquaponics and hydroponic systems and the contribution to security of the food supply in virginia at least how can we do that i know the you know the doctor obviously you know explained and described it very well and dr strawn also addressed very well as well so most of all the you know good agriculture and the handling practice practices where your samples are coming from or you know plant seedlings like fish food particularly and then clean water source plants should not be in the same tank as ph filter water from fish tank no direct contact with fish tank water with edible portion of crop so i reiterate that because that’s the most important thing where you know you know samples are coming from or seedlings are coming from and then also depending upon you know how you feel about but the thing is you know like every season or every six months water you know microbial quality test but i guess depending upon you know how you interpret the situation or result but now i was thinking about them you know i think this is based on other some references they were talking about you know microbial and water quality testing needs to be done at least monthly monthly and they prevent cross-contamination using separate tools and equipment and personalizing hygiene like you saw in our data from the you know the fresh produce obtained from the hydroponic systems didn’t have any contact with aquaponics like you know fish or any other fecal material but obviously had the equalizer so he was coming from somewhere so you know maybe i assume it’s maybe the personal hygiene and the use of clean tools and the store products and appropriate temperatures here you know like we know the basics but sometimes what we miss is this the you know most of products when we harvested from the field don’t have like high levels of microbial counts which is highly unlikely you will get you know infected by that number of microorganisms and then you’ll get sick and then you know like kind of you know get unexpected results or anything but the thing is how we handle it that’s the thing let me share some you know one example of a story the you know let’s say you know the weather like we are getting close to fall very cool season it’s really nice and then when you’re out there and you know it’s like about let’s say 5 pm and you’re about to wrap up you know that call it a day and then on the way home you are called by your you know wife and then she wanted to have some kind of good you know the you know sweet you know honeydew so okay yeah i can do everything for you so you know on the way home you picked up you know like one honeydew good ripe one and it smells sweet very sweet and then coincidentally a friend of yours called you a long lost friend and called you hey man you know like the daylight is still long why don’t we play like a short course like you know nine holes or something and you just couldn’t refuse it so you have that uh you know honeydew is well ripened one is in in your back you know of your car while you are playing your you know short nine holes and then when you get home you you know gladly or happily handed that the you know that the product to your wife and here is for you but think about at the beginning the number of microorganisms the level of microorganisms when you picked up at the store the honeydew it may have just like a small number of let’s say e coli whatsoever but in your you know car during that time period while you are enjoying your your company you know playing golf that number significantly grows up to the level where people get sick so that’s the kind of a basic concept we need to think about all the time what we do so always to remember i mean some of you may be not be aware of like a fat tom like a food acidity temperature time moisture oxygen oxygen moisture those are the six parameters you know bacteria will need to grow so as far as you go with that six parameters and trying to you know mitigate or you know like intervene those six parameters you know you i think you will be in pretty good shape again a fat tom f is in food a is an acidity like a ph and then t is in temperature another t is in time and the o is in oxygen m as in moisture so so with that again you know but most of important thing is i’d like to have this disclaimer that due to the limited availability of samples at different facilities each sample acquired in duplicate may not be representative of all samples in the study area the authors would like to declare that this study was carried out mainly for academic research purpose without any conflict of interest and then here are the people involved in this project and again i’m taking this opportunity i’d like to thank dr crosby so much for coming out to that you know the sampling site every time you know i do respect y’all thank you so much that’s all i have thank you dr kim you know that’s been one of the biggest uh hurdles for us is to uh locate all these small aquaponic units that’s out there we’ve been everybody’s been interested in these units we have a lot of attendance to it but trying to locate and get a database of folks who are doing this has been fairly difficult for us uh uh this is the time now to ask some questions if you have any questions of our presenters please ask right now we can go for a few more minutes to do that well mark uh just put in the qualtrics survey so uh if you all will do a quick evaluation we’d appreciate that as well okay it’s in the chat box sorry i forgot to mention okay yeah any questions i think all the questions we’ve had thus far doc have been uh answered uh that i have been able to find so we’ve got the link is in there for the booklet is also in the chat box so those are there as well.