Anyone contemplating a commercial venture really has to incorporate a HACCP strategy into not only the business plan... but the whole "psyche" of the organisation IMO....
I appreciate the differing standards that apply, or more often might not apply, in different countries.... but if you start from the structured point of view that a HACCP analysis demands.... you'll often highlight deficiencies in your processes, and even possibly in your system design, before you begin.... and the "mindset" can be carried through to all aspects of the business...
It really is a worthwhile process...
The HACCP analysis and flowcharting forces you to breakdown your processes and design into component pieces... and not only identifies potential health hazards... but physical failure points... like pump failures and likely consequences...
Doing so, and having documented the processess... basically forms a systems/operation manual, or at least a good part of... which allows training of any employees much easier... and allows you to better manage both your operations and any staff... as well as covering any regulatory and compliance documentation...
JD Sawyer said:
Thank you for this information. I'm going to read through all of this asap as I am not satisfied at all with the food handling practices at the GrowHaus. Much improvement needs to take place in this area.
As far as I know, we are the first and only aquaponics facility to obtain Food Safety Certification for Good Agricultural Practices, in 2009. (If any one else knows of any one else who has accomplished this, please let me know!)
We are going through HACCP certification now. Primus Labs has agreed to develop a template for aquaponics, with us as their partner (read "guinea pig" in this process). They want independent, peer-reviewed studies that prove aquaponics is safe (i.e., nothing pathogenic crossed the cell wall of the produce from the fish waste, etc.)
I know Nick Savidov conducted a test that ran for several years, but as far as I know, he never published the data, and I have so far been unsuccessful in getting him to return my emails and phone messages (I have been trying since November, 2010). I also have a paper entitled "Food Safety and Aquaponics", by Gordon Chalmers, DVM, but it does not contain the kind of thrid-party peer reviewed results that Primus is looking for. ANYONE who knows of any papers that have been published along these lines, PLEASE let me know.
I will let you know how our re-inspection goes. It's yet to be scheduled, but it's the biggest item on my agenda, and I think we'll be ready for it in within 30 days.
Aloha from Miami !
Having in your area several aquaponic farms which are "Organic" for many years, like http://www.olomanagardens.com/
looks like you are far ahead from Florida.
Thank you for sharing and good luck on the inspection
It bears repeating that infection-control guidelines are effective only when they are followed with scrupulous precision. Adherence to those well-established principles is documented to contain and prevent the spread of such infection as the resistant NDM-1, an organism capable of a proverbial death sentence.
This is a quote that I took from a Continuing Education article I was just reading. I will add to this in a few minutes as I wrote a big dissertation and it didn't put it up here and I must go back to work
Saving…It bears repeating that infection-control guidelines are effective only when they are followed with scrupulous precision. Adherence to those well-established principles is documented to contain and prevent the spread of such infection as the resistant NDM-1, an organism capable of a proverbial death sentence.
This subject has been bothering me ever since I read that Gina drank the water from her system. Everyone needs to go back to the days when you thought organic meant that your food was safe from everything. I think we now know that is not true. The organic farming products have proven to contain disease causing bacteria of the worst kind. But we aquapons say fish are cold blooded and don't carry E. coli. This statement is true but this is not the only organism that is a danger. How about Salmonella, Shigella, Hepatitis A, and rat lung worm to name a few. We who have outside systems are especially vulnerable. I have a problem with ground snail, birds overhead, rats that fall into the system trying to get a drink, toads getting into my troughs on the ground, the herons that sit on the edge of my fish tanks watching the fish, and first and foremost the people who work with me. How good is their hygiene? Most of the bacteria I mentioned are spread by humans and their bad habits. Have you ever looked at your water under a microscope. Let me tell you it would scare you to death and these critters would not even be harmful. Have you ever plated out your water on media to prove there are no bad bacteria. I doubt that any of us have. I plan to soon just to see what might be there. I have access to a clinical lab and the media to do this. I can't take it all the way unless I want to pay for it.. But I can tell a lot of organisms without to much fancy media.
The quote I wrote on June 22 was about some super bugs that are in Europe and they have the ability to become resistant to ALL antibiotics and to pass this on to other bugs. The situation is becoming very dangerous in the world of microbiology as far as human disease organisms are concerned. TC Lynx said something about drinking out of streams. Has anyone ever hear of Giardia or Cryptosporidium. Do you remember a few years ago when Cryptosporidium got in the water system I think in one of the midwest states and made a lot of people ill. If we were to drink the water from our streams here in Hawaii we run the risk of catching a serious disease caused by an organism in the water. I can't remember the name at the moment. It is Leptospirosis. Our canal waters have flesh eating bacteria in them.
None of this is meant to scare you but just to say that because something is clear it is not necessarily safe to drink. Maybe your water is pure but to actually promote that aquaponic water is pure is really pushing it. We need to practice food safety and if we don't the Gov is already making laws that will put us out of business because of the cost we will incur. The legislature just passed a bill here that would have put a end to small farmers. Because we rose up and protested to the Gov He vetoed it but there is next year and it will come eventually.
Dan Brown started this discussion in the first place. I suggest that we all go back and see what he said. He is a Chef and he knows the importance of food safety. I worked microbiology for years and am still involved in it and know what the future is bringing. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
I have not written this to offend anyone or make fun of anyone but to ask you to use caution and not be so quick to drink the water.
Living here has thrashed my former sterile hydroponic self into an absolute tizzy. I simply cannot believe how the locals survive. Six years now and every time I go out to eat I get the runs (sorry), but locals can eat anything and be just dandy. I guess they have, over the centuries, developed antidotes or tolerance. I honestly dare not (but still have to) eat at any restaurant less than four star, unless I inspect the kitchen and make friends with the chef and owner so I can bring my own veggies, and meat.
As for water...well, thank goodness we have technology as in RO filters, otherwise....