Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm very concerned that e coli is being under evaluated as a potential containment.  Repeatedly I'm finding references to the idea that e coli cannot exist in aquaponics, but the references are circular and based on statements without substantive scientific backing, and I beg to differ. While there is evidence that e coli isn't a normal aquaponic component, the potential for cross contamination is still high, and according to University of HI, http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/FST-38.pdf (link isn't working right, help appreciated) there is still a potential for the organism to exist in an aquaponic system, although with competition for space with the positive bacterial it's ability to over-run a well maintained system seems to be limited.  If this particular concern is better addressed in a more complete study please direct me to it!  If aquaponics is to be proven safe, regular testing must occur in order to prove that this contaminant isn't in the system.  The tests are expensive, and require a UV light to guage the presence of e coli (with most the tests I've looked at). Is anyone currently testing for e coli?  Can anyone refrence a stronger scientific study for me?

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Great discussion, everyone.  On an administrative note I agree with Dan and TC about creating a Food Safety group for this topic and using the text box for a list of valuable links.  Dan and Earl, you both seem like excellent candidates to take the lead on this.  Any volunteers?
I think that’s a great idea unfortunately with my job I do not have the time to dedicate to take a lead role. I work 5-6 days a week 10-12 hrs a day for USDA FSIS . I will gladly contribute and hope Dan will take the lead

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Great discussion, everyone.  On an administrative note I agree with Dan and TC about creating a Food Safety group for this topic and using the text box for a list of valuable links.  Dan and Earl, you both seem like excellent candidates to take the lead on this.  Any volunteers?
I'm on it, but with the new job and my wife's 40th this weekend, it will probably take me a bit to get something together that I'm satisfied with.  

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Great discussion, everyone.  On an administrative note I agree with Dan and TC about creating a Food Safety group for this topic and using the text box for a list of valuable links.  Dan and Earl, you both seem like excellent candidates to take the lead on this.  Any volunteers?
Sounds good.  By the way, Earl, it's great to have you spending some time with us again!  You've been missed!

Earl ward said:
I think that’s a great idea unfortunately with my job I do not have the time to dedicate to take a lead role. I work 5-6 days a week 10-12 hrs a day for USDA FSIS . I will gladly contribute and hope Dan will take the lead

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Great discussion, everyone.  On an administrative note I agree with Dan and TC about creating a Food Safety group for this topic and using the text box for a list of valuable links.  Dan and Earl, you both seem like excellent candidates to take the lead on this.  Any volunteers?
thanks, Dan!

Dan Brown said:
I'm on it, but with the new job and my wife's 40th this weekend, it will probably take me a bit to get something together that I'm satisfied with.  

Apparently I requested a different test.  The price quote I got is for 20 salmonella tests for $160.

http://www.geneq.com/catalog/en/sas_salmonella_test.html

Dan Brown said:

I found another test on the same discussion http://www.exit15.com/instant-food-test-strip-kit-for-salmonella-an... this tests for both salmonella and e coli, but it's not cheap ($10/test).  That's a lot less expensive than a hospital stay, or worse...

Daniel E Brown said:

I found this test...http://www.geneq.com/catalog/en/sas_salmonella_test.html# and have requested a quote from the company.  This appears to meet the requirements needed (quick test, easy read), now we'll find out if it's cost prohibitive.  After reading about the potential for contamination from turtles, I'd flatly advise not to eat the food until testing is done.  In this case (re:salmonella), contaminated water can directly contaminate the food, and cross contamination due to poor hygiene after simply handling turtles has led to food borne illness outbreaks.  This is high risk, and should be treated as such.

Even with proper hygiene you have birds flying over your plants in outdoor systems and rodents as well.

E. Coli and other contaminants do get into systems. Here in California I can get a fecal coliforms and e. coli test for 25 bucks. Probably worth getting in done every so often especially if your selling anything to someone else.

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