Research – Safety and quality of water used with fresh fruits and vegetables


During fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) production, water is used for a variety of purposes. Even the water was conventionally treated and disinfected, it may still potentially contain human pathogens, albeit at low concentrations. A risk assessment, appropriate to the national or local production context, should be conducted to assess the potential risks associated with a specific water source or supply in order to devise the appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

Since the 48th session of Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) noted the importance of water safety and quality in food production and processing, FAO and WHO has undertaken the work on this subject. This report describes the output of the third in a series of meetings, which examined appropriate and fit-for-purpose microbiological criteria for water used with fresh fruit and vegetables. The advice herein will support decision making when applying the concept of fit-for-purpose water for use in the pre- and post-harvest production of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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