Thu, Sep 8, 2011 12:04 PM
How Floods Affect Local Food Safety
MONTPELIER - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and Department of
Health want consumers to know that many of Vermont's fruit and
vegetable farms were untouched by flood waters from Tropical Storm
Irene, and Vermonters should still support their local farms and
Farms that were inundated with flood
waters from rivers and streams have been informed of the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) guidance that crops in which the edible
portion has come in contact with flood waters are considered to be
adulterated. These crops are not to be offered for sale or
consumed. Vermont farmers are aware that if these adulterated
products reach the marketplace they could be subject to regulatory
action from the FDA or the State of Vermont.
"We are confident in our farmer's ability to make informed
decisions that will not threaten their business or the health of
their community," said Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross. "If you
have questions about any food you buy locally, talk with the farmer
or the market. This is another advantage of doing business with
"Buying and eating fresh local fruit and
vegetables that weren't touched by flooding is a healthy action
that I encourage Vermonters to take now more than ever," said
Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.
There are many ways to support Vermont farmers:
• Shop at your local farmers' market and farm
• Continue to support your CSA farm during this
time of need.
• Donate to the Vermont Community Foundation and
Agency of Agriculture's Farm Disaster Relief Fund
• Donate an item or experience to Northeast
Organic Farming Association of Vermont's (NOFA-VT) online auction
to benefit the Farmer Emergency Fund, and participate in the
auction starting October 1at www.nofavt.org.
• If you know a farmer who has been impacted,
volunteer to help muck out their barn, pull up downed fence, or
even make dinner. If you don't know any farmers personally but
would like to volunteer, call 1-800-VERMONT.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Health Department will
continue to work with the FDA, UVM Extension and other partners to
ensure the safety of the Vermont food supply and offer technical
assistance to our farmers through this difficult time.