The FDA has released revisions to the previous language in the Produce Safety Rule about water testing and they are seeking comment on the proposed language.
- On Dec 2, 2021, the FDA released the proposed revisions to Subpart E - Agricultural Water for the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
- The proposed language in the rule is substantially different from the previous water testing rules.
- Until the new rule is final, continue to follow previous guidance as contained on this page
To read more about the proposed agricultural water testing rule under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule:
Some key things to note about the proposed agricultural water rule:
- Enforcement discretion applies while the rulemaking process is completed and compliance dates are re-evaluated. That means that the existing provisions of Subpart E Agricultural Water will not be in effect until the rule-making process is done.
- The FDA is seeking comments from growers and others who are impacted by the proposed rule. Providing comments is important, as the FDA will use the comments to finalize the law that might impact many growers. The comment period ends April 5, 2022.
- You can submit comments about the rule to the FDA Federal Register Docket
- Continue to assess your water quality and take actions you deem appropriate to reduce the risk of contamination to produce.
For more guidance on the new rule including tips for making comments, see this blog post from UMN Extension.
The FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires that labs use approved testing methods to run these tests, to ensure results are accurate. The water labs listed conduct these allowable testing methods.
For more information on specific water testing requirements under the Produce Safety Rule, see resources at the end of this page or attend a FSMA Grower Training workshop.
This list does not endorse any specific business or testing method. There may be other companies that offer allowable methods for water testing in the state.
When looking for water testing services:
- Call the lab to ask about their protocol for gathering a sample.
- Tell them you want to test your ground or surface water samples for generic E. coli using a method allowed by the FDA under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
- Make sure to tell the lab whether the sample is from a surface or well water source, as the testing methods might change based on the source.
- Water used in the pack house or for other postharvest uses can be reported as presence/absence (P/A) results. But water used in the field (production) must be analyzed by a quantitative method that results in a number.
- Tell the lab you need an actual number for your irrigation water sample results.
- The list of water labs on this page shows if a lab can perform both quantitative and presence/absence, or just presence/absence tests.
- You will receive a sampling kit and instructions from the lab. Follow these instructions carefully: wash your hands before sampling and do not touch the inside of the container.
- Set a time when the sample should arrive at the lab.
- Some labs have small incubator capacity and cannot process every sample they receive. Sometimes they do not run samples every day.
- It is best to call ahead and make sure the lab has the time and capacity to process the sample within the allotted hold time.
- Some labs can arrange to pick up a sample from a farmer or a drop-off location, but you will need to know the exact day and time you will be sampling.
- Get the sample to the lab as soon as you can after collection, always within the hold time indicated by the lab.
- Some labs accept mailed samples, while some require drop-offs.
- Keep the sample at refrigerator temperatures.
Water testing labs in Minnesota by county
|Laboratory name||Address||County||Phone||Contact||Method type: Quantitative (Q), Presence/Absence (P/A) or Both|
|A.W. Research Laboratories, Inc.||16326 Airport Rd., Brainerd, MN 56401||Crow Wing||218-829-7974||Sara Ahlerf||Both|
|AC Analytical & Consulting LLC||21518 Basset Dr. NW, Puposky, MN 56667||Beltrami||218-243-3328||Kevin Caroline||P/A|
|Central Water Testing Laboratory||18511 State Highway 371, Brainerd, MN 56401||Crow Wing||218-828-2118||Margaret Bevorak||P/A|
|Davy Laboratories||115 6th St. S, La Crosse, WI 54601||La Crosse||608-782-3130||Jennifer Buchholv||Both|
|Fillmore SWCD Water Quality Laboratory||900 Washington St. NW, Preston, MN 55965||Fillmore||507-765-3878||Nikki Wheeler||Both|
|Instrumental Research, Inc.||7800 Main St. NE, Fridley, MN 55432||Anoka||763-571-3698||Sue Melchior||Both|
|Interpol Laboratories, Inc.||4500 Ball Rd. NE, Circle Pines, MN 55014||Anoka||763-786-6020||Gregg Holman||P/A|
|Koochiching Health Department Water Testing||1000 5th St., International Falls, MN 56649||Koochiching||218-283-7070||Derek Foss||P/A|
|Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Inc.||1126 N Front St, New Ulm, MN 56073||Brown||507-354-8517||Gloria Anderson||Both|
|Pace Analytical Services, LLC - Duluth, MN||4730 Oneota St., Duluth, MN 55807||St. Louis||218-727-6380||Leah Morehouse||Both|
|Pace Analytical Services, LLC - Minneapolis MN||1700 Elm St. SE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55414-2485||Hennepin||612-607-1700||Issac Schmidt||Both|
|Pace Analytical Services, LLC - Virginia||315 Chestnut St., PO Box 1212, Virginia, MN 55792||St. Louis||218-735-6700||Craig Douglas||Both|
|Red Wing City Laboratory||1020 East Fifth St., Red Wing, MN 55066||Goodhue||651-385-5141||Kelsey Vandeusen||Both|
|RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc.||2200 West 94th St., Bloomington, MN 55431||Hennepin||218-846-1465||Autumn Mahoney||Both|
|RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc. Detroit||22796 County Highway 6, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501||Becker||218-846-1465||Autumn Mahoney||Both|
|RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc. Hibbing||1111 7th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746||St. Louis||218-440-2043||Kristin Hanson||Both|
|Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health||555 Cedar St., St Paul, MN 55101||Ramsey||651-266-1321||Page DeLong||P/A|
|Southeastern Minnesota Water Analysis Laboratory||2100 Campus Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904||Olmsted||507-328-7495||Seth Cordry||Both|
|Southwest Health and Human Services||607 West Main St., Suite 200, Marshall, MN 56258-3099||Lyon||507-537-6713||Chad Cunningham||P/A|
|Stearns DHIA Central Laboratory||825 12th St. S, P.O. Box 227, Sauk Centre, MN 56378||Stearns||320-352-2028||Angela Scherping||P/A|
|Steven M. Traut Wells, Inc.||754 Cross Country Lane SW, Alexandria, MN 56308||Douglas||320-762-1528||Tarra Darin||P/A|
|Techtron Engineering, Inc.||640 East Main St., Anoka, MN 55303||Anoka||763-712-9502||Joshua||P/A|
|Traut Water Analysis Lab||141 28th Ave. S, Waite Park, MN 56387||Stearns||320-251-5090||Sue Fish||P/A|
|Tri-City/William Lloyd Analytical Lab||9300 Poplar Bridge Rd., Bloomington, MN 55437||Hennepin||952-563-4904||Deb Weltzin||Both|
|Twin City Water Clinic, Inc.||617 - 13th Ave. S, Hopkins, MN 55343||Hennepin||952-935-3556||Bill VanArsdale||P/A|
|UC Laboratory||129 North Main St., Janesville, MN 56048||Waseca||507-234-5835||Ben Schreder||Both|
|Water Laboratories, Inc.||333 Main St. NW, PO Box 388, Elk River, MN 55330||Sherburne||763-441-7509||Kevin Kloeppner||Both|
|Worthington Public Utilities Laboratory||1950 27th St. N, Worthington, MN 56187||Nobles||507-372-8660||Mike Pavelko||P/A|
This list is current as of July 22, 2021.
It is updated regularly to add laboratories that offer the methods that are allowable under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
This table is also available on a Google Map.
To update the above information, add your company to the list, or ask a question, please email email@example.com.
Allowable testing methods for FSMA Produce Safety Rule
The FDA has determined that the following methods are scientifically valid and at least equivalent to the method of analysis stated in the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (FDA regulation § 112.151(a)), in accuracy, precision and sensitivity.
These are the allowable methods of testing agricultural water for farms covered by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
- Method 1603: Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Water by Membrane Filtration Using Modified membrane-Thermo tolerant Escherichia coli Agar (Modified mTEC) (September 2014). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-821-R-14-010.
- Method 1103.1: Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Water by Membrane Filtration Using membrane-Thermotolerant Escherichia coli Agar (mTEC) (March 2010). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-821-R-10-002.
- Method 1604: Total Coliforms and Escherichia coli in Water by Membrane Filtration Using a Simultaneous Detection Technique (MI Medium) (September 2002). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-821-R-02-024.
- 9213 D – Natural Bathing Beaches (2007). In: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 22nd Edition (Rice E.W., et al., Ed.), 9-46 – 9-48. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association. (2012).
- 9222 B – Standard Total Coliform Membrane Filter Procedure (1997), followed by 9222 G – MF Partition Procedures (1997) using NA-MUG media. In: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st Edition (Eaton A.D., et al., Ed.), 9-60 – 9-65, and 9-70 – 9-71, respectively. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association (2005).
- D 5392-93 – Standard Test Method for Isolation and Enumeration of Escherichia coli in Water by the Two-Step Membrane Filter Procedure. In: Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 11.02. ASTM International. (1996,1999, 2000).
- Hach Method 10029 for Coliforms – Total and E. coli, using m-ColiBlue24 Broth PourRite Ampules.
- IDEXX Colilert Test Kit, but only if using IDEXX Quanti-Tray/2000 for quantification.
- IDEXX Colilert-18 Test Kit, but only if using IDEXX Quanti-Tray/2000 for quantification.
- TECTATM EC/TC medium and the TECTATM Instrument: A P/A Method for the Simultaneous Detection of Total Coliforms and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Drinking Water. (2014).
- Modified ColitagTM Test Method for the Simultaneous Detection of E. coli and other Total Coliforms in Water. ATP D05-0035. (2009).
- IDEXX Colilert Test Kit
- IDEXX Colilert-18 Test Kit
- IDEXX Colisure Test Kit
- E*Colite Bag or Vial Test for Total Coliforms and E. coli in Potable Water. Charm Sciences
- 101298 Readycult Coliforms 100. EMD Millipore (division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany).
To better understand the Produce Safety Rule, we recommend taking the FSMA Grower Training course and these sources:
- Produce Safety Alliance: The Water Analysis Method Requirement in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Overview (08/2018)
- FDA Equivalent Testing Methodology for Agricultural Water (08/2018)
- FDA Fact Sheet Key Requirements: Final Rule on Produce Safety (11/2015)
- MDA Produce Safety Program: includes location and registration information for FSMA Grower Trainings
- UMN Extension Farm Food Safety Program includes location and registration information for FSMA Grower Trainings
Reviewed in 2021