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Research Finds Potential for E. Coli Contamination in Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems

A Purdue University study revealed that E. coli could be present in hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems. Although these systems were thought to provide little opportunity for pathogens to contaminate the edible parts of plants, testing in this study found E.coli in both types of systems after two months. “Many people think that there is no chance that E. coli could be present in these systems and that risk of contamination is low,” said corresponding author Hye-Ji Kim. “Our findings suggest there is some potential for food safety concerns. We’re not saying that these foods are unsafe, but that it’s important to handle these plants properly and carefully.”