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Report, 2014

Hygien och bevattningsvatten

Alsanius, Beatrix


Recently, outbreaks of food illnesses have more often been related to consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and sprouts subjected to non or minimal processing. Contamination may occur during the entire production chain, from farm to fork. Contaminated irrigation water may be one route for transmission. Production of high quality vegetables and fruits requires access to water upon the crop's demand which means that deprived access to natural water needs to be compensated by irrigation. This literature survey describes basic aspects for transmission of food illnesses through irrigation water with respect to the retention and internalisation by the crop, sources of irrigation water and mode of irrigation. Prospects to counteract contamination by crop management are considered in one section. As contamination that occurs at an early stage cannot be eliminated at a later stage, water of high microbiological quality and the safe use of irrigation water is an essential precondition for safe produce. Until today, there are no operational standards for quality management of irrigation water in Sweden. Comparison of international standards shows that there is no consensus on employed indicator organisms, thresholds or sampling mode. Some standards differentiate between water source, mode of application or risk group for exposure, whereas others are less specific. Consensus is also missing with respect to sampling frequency and calculation modes. Both the risk of exposure and the risk of infectivity must be determined upon risk assessment of irrigation water quality. Although factors that account for survival of different organisms causing food illnesses in the environment and on plants are known, there are no reliable models that predict the risk for transmission of food illnesses by low quality irrigation water from farm to fork.


field production, food safety, fruit, greenhouse production, irrigation, irrigation method, parasites, risk assessment, Salmonella spp., shigatoxin producing E. coli, virus, water quality standards

Published in

ISBN: 978-91-87117-71-8
Publisher: Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Veterinary Science
    Food Science

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