The Fresh Salad Producers Group (FSPG) have developed a standard for the use of fertilizers and soil additives after the national recall of pre-packaged lettuce because of salmonella contamination, in February 2016
The Fresh Salad Producers Group (FSPG) has recently finalised a Salad Fertilizer Standard. The FSPG consists of growers and processors of ready-to-eat leafy salads who have developed the standard for the use of fertilizers and soil additives after the national recall of pre-packaged lettuce because of salmonella contamination, in February 2016
The use of insufficiently treated manure and green waste has been shown to increase the risk of pathogenic contamination of ready-to-eat leafy salads, as there is usually no peeling or cooking of these foods, prior to consumption. Even if the product is washed before it is eaten, the wash processes may not be sufficient to remove all pathogens. Therefore, the use of untreated or improperly treated manure and green waste must be managed in such a way that minimises risk.
A key part of the standard is that manure and green wastes are not to be applied within 365 days of harvest. Composted organic material certified to AS4454 can be applied prior to planting. For more information on the Standard and to request a copy, click here.
Please consider the Salad Fertilizer Standard when developing soil and plant nutrition programs for leafy green salad crops such as lettuce, rocket, spinach, kale and silverbeet. A full list of crops can be found in the standard.
Further scientific studies of pathogens in fertilizers, soil additives, soil and water is currently being undertaken in Australia. Given there is sufficient evidence, the standard may be refined over time.
Information provided by
Fertcare Program Manager