Food safety has become a critical issue throughout the fresh produce industry as food service and retail buyers increasingly require growers and packers to develop and implement food safety plans. Although there have been no documented cases of foodborne illness attributed to consumption of fresh domestic mushrooms, wholesale buyers are increasingly requiring their suppliers to provide evidence of safe growing practices.

Featured Information

PDF, 137.8 kB

Weil JD, Cutter CN, Beelman RB, LaBorde LF. 2013.Journal of Food Protection, 76(8):1393–1400.

The intent of the law is to change the way we as a country ensure the safety of our food supply. Instead of responding to an occurrence of contamination or an outbreak of food borne illness, the food industry is now challenged to proactively recognize potential food safety hazards in their operations and establish control measures to prevent them from occurring.

Study conclusions were 1) Mushrooms do not contribute significantly to dietary intake of nitrates, even when irrigated with water that exceeds the EPA limit of 10 mg NO3-N/L, 2) Mushroom growers should be permitted to use well water with higher levels of nitrates for irrigation, and 3) There is no need to purchase and install expensive reverse osmosis equipment to lower nitrate levels.

Listeria bacteria are common in soil, vegetation, water, sewage, silage, and in animal feces. They are also readily found in continuously damp, cool indoor environments such as produce packing houses.

PDF, 133.5 kB

Viswanath, P., L. Murugesan, S.J. Knabel, B. Verghese, N. Chikthimmah N, and L. F. LaBorde L.F. 2013. Journal of Food Protection 76(4):608-615.

In recent years, awareness of Listeria monocytogenes as a potential microbial contaminant in ready-to-eat foods has increased.


By Dr. Trevor Suslow, UC-Davis Extension: Understanding the basic biology and harborage sites, as well as some lessons learned from outbreaks and recalls, is an essential foundation for building an on-farm and postharvest prevention and control plan tailored to your operation and region.

All packers and shippers are advised to review their sanitation practices immediately with special focus on the control of Listeria in areas where product cross-contamination can occur. Take action if your sanitation practices are not fully implemented and up-to-date. Do not delay: everyone must do what is required to minimize or prevent contamination.

A 1.5 hr recording of a webinar from the Penn State Department of Food Science originally presented on May 4, 2011.

PDF, 416.5 kB

Leavitt Partners law firm

PDF, 231.2 kB

Western Growers Association


By Dr. Bob Whitaker PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer January 11, 2011.


White paper to briefly identify where a microbiological testing program may be useful and considerations to take for designing and implementing a program. United Fresh Produce Association, 2010

The guidelines cover the best practices for washing and handling reusable plastic containers (RPCs), as well as outlines for regular microbiological testing. The protocols reportedly took more than a year to finalize and received input from stakeholders at companies such as Safeway, Walmart and Dole.

Controlling Listeria monocytogenes

PDF, 34.6 kB

Mushroom News, September 2002

FDA/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, USDA/Food Safety and Inspection Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 2003

Good Agricultural Practices for Safe Mushroom Production

Research, Recommendations, and Teaching Materials

Developed by Dr. Luke F. LaBorde, Department of Food Science, Penn State Universityand The American Mushroom Institute. Food safety standards, checklists, and forms for developing and documenting safe mushroom growing practices.

PDF, 933.6 kB

Chikthimmah N, LaBorde LF, and Beelman RB. 2005. Journal of Food Science 70(6):M 273-278

Avian influenza virus (AIV) is a group of viruses that can cause disease in birds.

Presentations and Resources

PDF, 111.8 kB

Journal of Food Technology, February 2003

Food Safety Program Development

Manual for developing SSOPs for the seafood industry but also an excellent general model for developing a sanitation program for any commodity - Seafood Network Information Center, UC-Davis

Safety of Water

The term backflow means any unwanted flow of used or non-potable water or substance from any domestic, industrial or institutional piping system into the pure, potable water distribution system.

PDF, 35.4 kB

University of California - Davis

PSU Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Hand Washing and Toilet Facilities

Occupational Health and Safety Administration, U.S. Dept of Labor

Cleaning and Sanitizing of Food Contact and Indirect Contact Surfaces

Proper Labeling, Use, and Storage of Toxic Chemicals

Pest Control


Developed by the PA IPM program with the cooperation of the American Mushroom Institute

Urban Entomology, UC-Riverside

PDF, 240.1 kB

Integrated pest management for food manufacturers - Copesan Services Inc.

PDF, 1018.0 kB

University of Nebraska

"The Portal for the Pest Industry" - Learn about the latest products and services from more than 30 leading industry suppliers in the PCT Online Marketplace

About the Mushroom Industry

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

A summary of the compost pasteurization process. Dave Beyer, PSU Department of Plant Pathology