Testing Requirements and Frequency for Freshcare Food Safety Standards

Published on August 1, 2022

Find the latest Freshcare Food Safety testing requirements and frequency below. Please subscribe to our newsletter here and check our website regularly for the most up-to-date information.

Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) Testing:

The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard requires each participating business to complete a multi-screen test that includes chemicals used as part of your spray program and, where applicable, postharvest chemicals.
If growing different crops/produce, each crop/produce group must be tested, refer to Freshcare’s Crop List.

There should be more than one product tested, where there are significant differences in crop groupings managed, and/or chemical application/treatment programs. To ensure appropriate control of risk, a business must assess whether further testing is required. If required, product testing is to be completed by a NATA-accredited laboratory.

Please note that customer-specific requirements may differ from Freshcare requirements and hence residue testing per crop may be necessary for some customers.

Organic producers must also have their produce tested as per the requirements of the Freshcare Standard. This is to verify chemical residues are not present from previous use of the growing site, or from spray drift from adjacent sites/properties.

Heavy metal and other chemical testings of produce or soils may also be required to assess the risk of contamination from persistent chemicals and heavy metals in the soil.

Water Testing:

Water sourced from creeks and rivers, dams, bores, and water storage tanks may be contaminated by biological organisms that may include food safety pathogens or chemicals. Water quality can also vary greatly between sources available on your property. A pre-harvest water risk assessment will identify whether water used during production poses a food safety risk to your produce and how to manage any risk identified.

Water used postharvest must meet specific water quality limits to prevent microbial contamination of your final product. To ensure specified water quality limits are met, treatment and verification testing may be required.

Please note water source monitoring includes identifying potential risks so they can be assessed and managed to ensure food safety and quality is not compromised.

If a risk is identified on-farm that may adversely impact water quality, such as the potential contamination of a water source following heavy rainfall, additional water testing to verify water quality should be undertaken.