Vol 123 (2010): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Ornamental, Garden & Landscape

The Importance of Water Quality for Food Safety

Photos: Florida contains over half the wild orchid species found in the United States, at roughly 100 species. The endangered Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) makes its home in the area of southern Florida known as the Big Cypress Swamp (including the
Published December 1, 2010
  • food safety,
  • water quality,
  • water restrictions,
  • food contamination


Food safety has become an important issue to consumers and is reported on frequently by national media. From 1990 to 2005, there were 713 documented produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States. Food safety has become a major initiative of the US government. Now, major retail food chains are requiring third party food safety audits of the producer and packinghouse before buying produce from a company. One of the criteria of food safety audits is the safety of the water that is used to irrigate produce or wash produce for packing. Issues relating to producers meeting food safety audit standards and state mandatory food safety standards when required and the water permitting constraints that the state Water Management Districts impose will be discussed as well as public opinion on food safety and water issues.