FDA Issues Food Safety Recommendations for Controlled Environment Agriculture

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an investigation report for an outbreak investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium in July and August of 2021, linked to packaged leafy greens produced at a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) indoor hydroponic operation. As part of the report, FDA highlighted a list of food safety requirements and recommendations applicable to CEA firms, such as the hydroponic operation implicated in this investigation. FDA noted that “the moist, warm environments in greenhouses and similar CEA operations can help support the growth of bacteria, including pathogens often implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks.” The recommendations address identifying sources of contaminants, water and product testing, and sanitation procedures and sampling plans.