Return Policy

Return Policy –

Products may be returned within 30 days of the original invoice date, subject to approval.  Returns require a Return Material Authorization (RMA) issued by BioSafe in advance.  Returns will not be approved if the products are repackaged or relabeled in any way and must be in the same condition as when delivered. A restocking charge of 20% plus return shipping will be assessed on all returns unless merchandise is defective or shipped in error. This applies to all orders once they have left our warehouse.  Product returned due to non-compliance with state or federal regulations will be replaced at BioSafe’s expense.

Please email all return inquiries to or call 888-273-3088, thank you.

Beat the Heat: Summer Pathogen Control

The heat and humidity add up to pathogen trouble, thrown in rain and you need to be prepared for what the season throws your way. This quick guide to controlling Summer pathogens such as Botrytis and Powdery Mildew is a great way to contact kill these tough Virginia Mid-Summer threats!


For best control of Summer Pathogens, OxiDate 2.0 should be incorporated into a tank mix program with residual fungicides and a nonionic surfactant. Applications are especially needed immediately after a rain event and repeated on a 5 – 10 day rotation for as long as weather is conducive for pathogen development. Specifically, we recommend the following program for the control of summer pathogens such as Botrytis and Powdery Mildew:

OxiDate – 64 – 128 oz. / 100 gal Spray Volume

+ Nonionic surfactant – 6 oz. / 100 gal

+ Residual Fungicides


OxiDate 2.0 kills bacterial and fungal pathogens, offering superior protection for your organic or conventional field and row crops. Use OxiDate 2.0 for curative crop protection applications, or tank mix with other residual fungicides to help provide immediate knockdown control. With OxiDate 2.0, zero days to harvest and zero hour re-entry (4-hour/CA) interval allows growers to spray right up to harvest.

CALCIS: the new flavor of Lime

By: Tom Warmuth

BioSafe Systems prides itself being an American owned company offering sustainable and environmentally responsible products that protect our natural resources, including our water, crops, soils, and food supply. As the company behind the “Green” activated peroxide chemistries, including the algaecides GreenClean® Liquid 5.0 and GreenClean®PRO, we now also offer Calcis®, a product that will greatly help in improving the poor water quality of so many lakes and ponds. Calcis is a highly concentrated flowable calcium carbonate pond supplement that can be used to “lime” a pond in place of applying traditional agricultural limestone using traditional and cumbersome pond liming methods.

In many regions throughout the United States the water quality in some ponds can be quite poor with very low total alkalinity and hardness. These poor water quality conditions can contribute to many issues including but not limited to unbalanced aquatic nutrients and food-chain, issues with pH, and low fish production. Calcis is designed to make liming any pond quick and easy with its highly concentrated formulation. Five gallons of Calcis can yield approximately the same equivalent benefit to the water chemistry and hydrosoil as one ton of agricultural limestone, and it will do it much faster and easier. Generally, water chemistry adjustments occur within one week as compared to several months with agricultural lime. However, the results have shown to last years, just like traditional agricultural lime, which is promising.

What is considered the “traditional” method of pond liming involves a lot of time and resources. Robby Mays of American Sport Fish in Montgomery, Alabama says, “We do a lot of traditional liming using one or several of the special liming barges we operate. It takes a lot of labor to lime most of the lakes we service, starting with a trip to the lake to locate suitable areas to dump 18-wheeler loads of limestone. Then we have to coordinate with the lime pits and trucking companies before we move our barges and loading equipment on site. For small ponds the 25-ton minimum loads are more than we would need, that is where this liquid lime would make application so easy. One of our management biologists, Ginger, treated a ¾-acre pond using a small skiff and an agricultural sprayer in less than two hours. That was easy, efficient, and labor-saving. We see similar uses for Calcis in the near future.”

Calcis can be used stand-alone as the lime to be applied in pond, as follow up “bump applications” to bring back up a water chemistry adjustment, or even in conjunction with traditional barge liming jobs. Wade Bales, fisheries biologist and owner of Quality Lakes in South Carolina has used Calcis and is very pleased with the results. “We do traditional liming from a barge using agricultural limestone. It is important for us to cover as much of the pond bottom with limestone as we can, however, in a lake we did this year, several of the coves contained so much standing timber we could not access these areas with our barge. We used a small skiff and applied Calcis to these areas with great success. It will also allow us to lime any of the small ponds we manage that are too small to consider using our big liming barge. This product appears to have lots of applications for our pond management work.”

You may ask “This product is a liquid, how is it better than agricultural lime?” Well, Calcis is not only impressive in how well it does its job, but also in how effectively and easily it can be applied. Particularly, its ability to settle to the bottom evenly and quickly. Calcis is a very dense suspension of uniformly micronized calcium carbonate crystals. One gallon nearly weighs 15 pounds, almost twice the weight of water. Generally, the Calcis will noticeably settle in just minutes as you apply it and settle completely within hours. Once it is down, it stays down, just like a heavy sediment. It, similarly to heavy

sediment, doesn’t simply wash out of the pond due to flow. This product is refined, engineered, and formulated to be a concentrated bottle of the best lime available. Calcis is 100% viable calcium carbonate for the adjustment of the water chemistry and hydrosoil. It has no rocks, gravel, sand, or large particles that are unrefined and too large to make measurable water chemistry adjustment. Additionally there are no ultra-fine particles that dissolve too quickly or stay suspended and cloud the water. Calcis is all the good stuff, and it opens the door to all the different uses for a perfect pond lime.

(Customer quotes from Barry W. Smith’s article in Mossy Oak Gamekeepers (Winter Issue): An Alternative for Improving Water Quality in Small Ponds – A New Liquid Lime)

Twarmth Twarmth2

Why Alkalinity is Important

Published by permission from Pond Boss Magazine. c/o Pond Boss Magazine  originally printed 3/1/2016.

Written by Claude E. Boyd

When pond owners seek information on water quality from websites, publications,or fishery biologists, alkalinity(or total alkalinity) often is mentioned. This is as
it should be, because alkalinity is an important variable in sportfish ponds just as it is for manyother water uses. The problem is that alkalinity is a
terribly complex and elusive concept, talked about by many and partially understood by few. I will attempt a simple, lucid explanation of the importance
of alkalinity in sportfish pond management. Rain falling on the Earth has been naturally distilled and is relatively pure. Pure water is neutral (pH 7). But, rain water becomes saturated
with carbon dioxide while falling through the air. Carbon dioxide is acidic, and in theory, rain water has a pH of about 5.6. Of course, rain water often contains acidic substances such as
sulfuric acid from air pollution. This lowers pH – sometimes rain water has a pH below 5. Rain water dissolves many different elements from minerals in soils and other geological formations.
The most abundant substances in natural waters are bicarbonate, carbonate, chloride,  sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Alkalinity is not in the list of major
dissolved substances in water because it is not an actual dissolved substance—it is an index. Alkalinity derives from bicarbonate, carbonate, and a few other basic substances. It is defined
as the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) equivalent in parts per million (ppm) of the concentration of bases in water, and it is an index of the capacity of water to neutralize acid. It’s nature’s buffer, or
Rolaids, if you will.

Waters of lower alkalinity tend to have lower pH than do waters of greater alkalinity. However, the pH of natural water of a given alkalinity is controlled mainly by its carbon dioxide
concentration. A chemical equilibrium exists among carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, carbonate, and pH. Removing carbon dioxide causes pH to increase while introducing carbon dioxide results
in a decline in pH. The main factor causing increases and decreases in the carbon dioxide concentration in pond water is photosynthesis. In the daytime, aquatic plants remove carbon dioxide
from water faster than it can be replaced by  the combined respiration of all pond organisms.
Plants cease using carbon dioxide at night, but respiration by pond organisms continues and regenerates carbon dioxide.

The daily fluctuation in pH between the afternoon maximum and the early morning minimum obviously is greater when phytoplankton (or other aquatic plants) are abundant. But, at the
same rate of photosynthesis, the daily fluctuation in pH is greater in a pond of low alkalinity than in a pond of higher alkalinity. In fertile sportfish ponds, phytoplankton often
depletes carbon dioxide, causing pH to rise above 8.3. Photosynthesis continues because many species of phytoplankton and other aquatic plants can use bicarbonate as a source of carbon.
Carbon availability for plants is greater in water of higher alkalinity than in those of lower alkalinity. In obtaining carbon dioxide from bicarbonate, plants transform two bicarbonate
ions into one molecule of carbon dioxide and one carbonate ion. The carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis, but the carbonate is excreted  into the water. The carbonate ion reacts with
water, increasing pH. As a result, photosynthesis can cause pH to rise above 8.3—sometimes pH may reach 9 or 9.5 in surface waters of ponds in the afternoon. However, the rise in pH (at
the same photosynthetic rate) will be greater at lower than at higher alkalinity. Water comes in contact with bottom sediment, and bicarbonate and other bases neutralize
soil acidity. Ponds with low alkalinity water have acidic bottom soil, and acidity in soil favors rapid removal of phosphate applied
in fertilizer. Acidic bottom soils also are not ideal for production of benthic animals that serve as food for pond fish. Microbial recycling of nutrients from sediment organic matter also
is diminished by low pH. Ammonium compounds or urea that converts to ammonium in pond water are applied in fertilizer. Oxidation of ammonium to nitrate
by nitrifying bacteria creates acidity that neutralizes alkalinity and lessens pH in ponds with low alkalinity. Another reason that adequate
alkalinity concentration is important in ponds is to neutralize acidity from nitrification and other sources. In water of especially high alkalinity, the pH often is continuously above 8 and there is
abundant calcium in the water. These conditions favor the precipitation of phosphate applied in fertilizer. In summary, alkalinity has several major effects on processes that culminate in sportfish
production in ponds as follows:

• determines the background pH—the pH that would occur without additions of fertilizers to promote phytoplankton growth
• the ability of water to resist pH change (buffering capacity) increases with greater alkalinity
• the availability of carbon for photosynthesis

  • increases with increasing alkalinity  acid conditions in bottom soils of ponds with low alkalinity inhibit the growth of food organisms for fish and retard microbial recycling of nutrients
    •acidic bottom soil associated with low alkalinity lessens the availability of phosphate added in fertilizer
    •factors associated with especially high alkalinity also lessen the availability of phosphate applied in fertilizer
  • Categories of alkalinity are listed in Table 1. The concentration range for each category is based on the author’s experience, and another water quality specialist might offer slightly different categories and concentration ranges. Agricultural limestone should be applied to increase low alkalinity, and a good response to liming usually is realized up to an alkalinity concentration of 30 to 50 ppm in fertilized ponds. Agricultural limestone usually will not dissolve in water with alkalinities above 50 to 60 ppm.
    It is significant to note that most pond fertilization research was done in waters with alkalinities of 20 to 60 mg/L. In water with high alkalinity, it may be necessary to increase the phosphate fertilizer input by as much as 50% above the rate used in lower alkalinity water, and in water of very high alkalinity, an even greater increase in phosphate usually will be necessary. It often will be more effective to increase the frequency of fertilizer applications than to use a higher phosphate input per fertilizer application.
    There is no effective way of lessening the alkalinity of pond waters. There are references that ammonium from ammonium sulfate fertilizer added to ponds of high alkalinity will be oxidized to nitrate by nitrifying bacteria, creating acidity to lessen alkalinity and pH. Unfortunately, this procedure carries the risk of ammonia toxicity to fish.
    Alkalinity typically is needed in areas where soils are highly leached and acidic. Because low alkalinity is a result of a deficiency of limestone and other bases in soils and other geological formation, liming will not cause a permanent increase in alkalinity of pond waters. Liming usually must be repeated at 2 to 5 year intervals.
    In high alkalinity water, it is necessary to increase the quantity and frequency of phosphate input to establish and maintain a satisfactory phytoplankton bloom. The use of liquid fertilizer or rapidly soluble granular fertilizer is recommended in all ponds, but use of such fertilizers is especially important for ponds with high alkalinity water.
    Now that you are convinced of the importance of alkalinity, you may wonder how and how often to measure it. Inexpensive kits for measuring alkalinity can be purchased from sources such as HACH chemical company. Alkalinity does not usually change rapidly. If your pond has above 50 ppm alkalinity, further measurement is unnecessary. When ponds have a low alkalinity, they should be limed, and alkalinity measured again in 4 to 6 weeks to assure that enough liming material was applied. Afterwards it usually is adequate to measure alkalinity at 6- to 12- month intervals so that liming may be repeated when necessary.

BioSafe Systems’ SaniDate 5.0 Now Approved for Sanitation of Shell and Hatching Eggs

SaniDate 5.0 is a highly stabilized 5% peroxyacetic acid formulation designed to overcome high levels of organic contamination typical of poultry operations. Broadly labeled for all sanitation and disinfection applications within hatcheries and egg production, SaniDate 5.0 Sanitizer/Disinfectant now has an expanded EPA label to include applications for the sanitation of shell eggs and hatching eggs.
The new comprehensive label includes all major BioSecurity applications, approval for organic and Kosher production, and as always proudly made in the USA.
BioSafe Systems is committed to providing poultry hatcheries with effective and sustainable products that meet strict industry standards. To learn more about how SaniDate 5.0 is an effective and versatile sanitizer, please contact Russell Owings by email at ; phone 1.540.256.8426. or call BioSafe Systems toll free at 1-888-273-3088 or visit our webpage at

Sustainable Soil Program with TerraClean 5.0 and TerraGrow. Out With the Bad. In With the Good.

sustainable soil

OUT WITH THE BAD, BUT NEVER ANY GOOD: For quite some time, agriculture has depended on soil fumigation to “nuke” the soil profile, controlling a host of pests and pathogens.  The challenge with fumigation is it eradicates everything in the soil, including beneficial microorganisms that we are now learning are critical to soil and plant health.

OUT WITH THE BAD: The conventional solution has been methyl bromide, a highly effective, yet highly hazardous and persistent chemical used to control pests ranging from pathogens to nematodes and even weed seeds; but due to a paradigm shift in environmental concerns, methyl bromide has been phased out and growers are now struggling to come up with effective solutions.

IN WITH THE GOOD: BioSafe Systems has been developing sustainable chemistries for over 20 years; with our new Sustainable Soil Program that includes TerraClean 5.0 Soil Treatment and TerraGrow Soil Inoculant growers now have a sustainable solution to treating their soil.  BioSafe’s Sustainable Soil Program is proving to be a highly effective alternative to soil fumigation.  This revolutionary program combines the power of TerraClean’s peroxyacetic acid technology to eliminate “the bad” pathogens and pests followed by TerraGrow Soil Inoculant to add “the good” microorganisms back into the soil.

OUT WITH THE BAD: SUSTAINABLY: The program starts by treating the soil with TerraClean 5.0, using the powerful peroxyacetic acid chemistry to eliminate soil pathogens and pests immediately – before planting.  TerraClean 5.0 is a powerful yet safe chemistry, allowing growers to treat their soil when it’s convenient for them without any plant back restrictions.  TerraClean 5.0 can be applied at any stage of plant growth to kill and suppress soil pathogens and pests that may become a challenge throughout the season; it is critical, however, to utilize TerraClean 5.0 prior to seeding or transplanting to ensure that your soil is clean before putting “the good” back using TerraGrow.

IN WITH THE GOOD: SUSTAINABLY: TerraGrow Soil Inoculant was engineered after 3 years of research and development to formulate a high quality multi-strain beneficial growth package for fruits, vegetables and row crops.  Following the TerraClean Soil Treatment application, TerraGrow can be chemigated or drenched directly into the recently treated area to establish a strong beneficial population.  With the soil profile being clean and free of pathogen pressure, TerraGrow’s multi-strain formula can rapidly colonize around the plant roots and soil profile.  TerraGrow’s 7-strain formula focuses on the symbiotic relationship between each strain, ensuring they are working together to aid in systemic resistance, colonization of root zone, and nutrient absorption.  TerraGrow quickly reestablishes beneficial bacteria and fungi populations in and around the root zone to ensure detrimental plant pathogens don’t move back into the “clean zone.”

BioSafe’s Sustainable Soil Program is truly sustainable; it leaves no chemical byproduct and with zero mutational resistance, this program can be used season after season without a reduction in performance.  TerraClean Soil Treatment and TerraGrow Soil Inoculant are OMRI listed, NOP Compliant, and highly researched and proven in numerous soil conditions.  Another incredible benefit of BioSafe’s Sustainable Soil Program is: there are no plant back restrictions. You can treat the field and plant 12 hours later – making this an ideal soil treatment option for double cropping and in-season treatments.


Michael Larose, BioSafe Systems

Reduce Food Safety Risks Through Accuracy in Cleaner and Sanitizer PPM Measurements

By: Russell Owings

BioSafe Systems, LLC


Food safety regulations are becoming more prominent as the government implements changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act regarding growing, processing and shipping of food supplies. Antimicrobial interventions in process waters and facility sanitation are key components of this initiative. Good management practices help ensure that both processing facilities and our fruits, vegetables and meats are free of pathogens that could cause illness or premature decay of product. In order for sanitizers and detergents to be effective they must be dosed at specific rates and titrated to assure the desired chemical concentration is achieved. Low levels can allow unsafe organisms to thrive while high levels are unnecessarily expensive and can alter product quality. There are several different measurement tools on the market today for testing and titrating chemicals and it is important to find the one that is most effective for your operation.

Test Strips

Test strips provide a quick and inexpensive “indicator” of chemical presence in a solution. The color of the strip will change based on the level of active chemical present in the solution and the resulting color is compared to a chart indicating a parts per million range (ppm).  Test strip results should not be considered a titration as they do not provide a precise ppm. Results are subjective based on the person conducting the test and his or her matching the test strip to the color chart. Test strips do have a place in food processing as they are often used as a “quick- check” to assure a sanitizer has been applied. Results are manually logged.

Drop Count Titration Kits

Drop count titration kits provide another option for measuring chemical levels. The process includes collecting a sample of solution and adding a measured amount of reagent chemical. The person conducting the test would use a dropper bottle to add a titrant chemical (often referred to as “Indicator Solution”) one drop at a time until the sample changes color. To calculate the ppm, users multiply the number of drops of titrant added by a number provided in the test kit manual. Drop Count titrations are time consuming and subjective.  The size of the titrant drop will vary depending on the angle the dropper bottle is held which can affect the end result. If the indicator solution amounts are off by even one drop the titration is flawed. Some Quality Assurance Managers (QA) and USDA inspectors may not allow drop titration kits to be used inside the plant due to risk of contamination from the titrant chemical.  Additionally, if the glass vile were to be dropped into the product it would not be picked up by a metal detector.  A water sample may need to be taken to a QA office or other office not in the processing facility to conduct the titration. Results are manually logged.


Test Strip and Drop Count Titration Drawbacks
Both test strips and drop titrations are subject to human error and require manual logging of the results. Test strips provide a quick indicator but not precise ppm concentrations. Drop count titrations are time consuming and results can vary greatly from test to test.


A New Era of Testing:  The EMD Reader

With the increased risk associated with food safety failures and potential litigation, the industry needs to move away from subjective testing procedures.  An EMD Reader is a highly sensitive reflectometry instrument that combines the speed and convenience of test strips with precise accuracy.  The all-in-one system generates on-the-spot results which are shown on an LCD display.  Results may be manually logged or downloaded to a PC to create printable reports.

The scanner eliminates the subjective reading of a test strip, removing problems arising from issues with interpreting the color results of either test method. The EMD scanner has a built-in procedure to calibrate the unit to ensure accurate test results. The scanner can store up to 50 individual solution tests and the results can also be converted into spreadsheets for report writing and analysis.

Questions & Answers about Salmonella PART 1

Published by permission from The National Chicken Council. originally printed May 12, 2015.

Food safety is the top priority for companies that produce and process chicken products in the United States, and the industry prides itself on delivering safe, affordable and wholesome food both domestically and abroad.  Chicken producers continue to meet food safety challenges head-on and have done an outstanding job of improving the microbiological profile of raw products.

Who oversees and regulates chicken processing plants?   The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that is responsible for inspection at broiler chicken processing facilities (those facilities that process chickens for meat).  The U.S. meat and poultry inspection system complements industry efforts to ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat and poultry products is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged. Rigorous food safety standards are applied to all chicken products produced in the United States, and all imported chicken products must also meet these federal standards.  All chicken products must meet or exceed these safety standards set forth by FSIS in order to reach American consumers.  By law, a chicken plant cannot operate without FSIS inspectors on site.

What is HACCP?  Since 1996, the meat and poultry industries have been operating under Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).  Originally developed for NASA to ensure the safety of food provided for astronauts in outer space, HACCP is a systematic, science-based and preventive approach to food safety that addresses potential biological, chemical and physical contamination of food products. Written HACCP plans consist of measures to protect the food from unintentional contamination at critical control points.  HACCP is used in the meat and poultry industry as a preventative approach to identify potential food safety hazards so that key actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate these risks. All plants must also, by law, maintain written Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures to maintain the cleanliness and sanitation in food processing environment. FSIS inspectors continuously ensure that HACCP plans and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures are being followed.

What is Salmonella?  Salmonella are microscopic living organisms found worldwide in cold- and warm-blooded animals and occur naturally in birds’ intestines.  Salmonella may be present in a perfectly healthy bird with no negative health effects.

Are all types of Salmonella created equal?  No.  There are more than 2,000 different strains of Salmonella, the majority of which are not harmful to humans.  Most of these Salmonella strains do not make consumers sick if exposed to them.

What are chicken producers doing to make sure they don’t end up on chicken products?  Proper handling and cooking in the kitchen is the last step in keeping Salmonella off of chicken, not the first. It all starts even before the egg.  Healthy breeder flocks lead to healthy chicks – measures are taken to prevent diseases from passing from hen to chick and to ensure that natural antibodies are passed on, which help keep the birds healthy. At the hatchery, strict sanitation measures and appropriate vaccinations ensure the chicks are off to a healthy start.

At the feed mill, the finished feed of corn and soybean meal is heat treated, which kills any bacteria that may be present.  On the farm, farmers adhere to strict biosecurity measures and the chickens are routinely monitored by a veterinarian to keep them healthy. At processing plants, the U.S. federal meat and poultry inspection system complements efforts by chicken processors to ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat and poultry products is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged. Chicken processing facilities use a variety of strategies at key points that include: written HACCP plans; the use of food-grade rinses that kill or reduce the growth of bacteria; organic sprays to cleanse the chickens and inhibit bacteria; strict sanitation procedures; and metal detectors to make sure that no foreign object makes its way into a product. Microbiological tests for pathogens are then conducted by companies and federal laboratories to help ensure that food safety systems are working properly.

Are these processes working?  What does the data show?  According to the most recent government data available: 98.5% of tests for Salmonella are negative for whole chickens at large plants. Chicken producers have reduced Salmonella on whole chickens 66% over the past five years. Since FSIS began testing chicken for Campylobacter in 2011, the industry has reduced the incidence by 30 percent. Americans on average eat about 160 million servings of chicken every day, almost all of them eaten safely.

Those tests are for whole chickens.  What about chicken parts?  FSIS will soon be implementing a first ever performance standard for chicken parts, e.g. legs, breasts and wings, as part of its Salmonella Action Plan. Since the fall of 2013, the entire chicken industry has been collectively exploring new approaches and technologies to reduce contamination on chicken parts in order to provide the safest product possible to our consumers, including strengthened sanitation programs, temperature controls and various interventions in chicken processing. This is something the industry has been proactively working to address, and the industry is committed to working with FSIS to make implementation of the performance standards for chicken parts a success for the industry, and most importantly, consumers.

What are performance standards?  FSIS requires poultry establishments to meet Salmonella performance standards as a means of verifying that production systems are effective in controlling contamination by this pathogenic organism. Agency inspection personnel conduct Salmonella testing in poultry establishments to verify compliance with the Salmonella standard.

What are some actions that FSIS may take if inspectors document food safety problems at a chicken plant? FSIS procedures/rules of practice are clear.  FSIS can and will take enforcement action, which can include anything from suspension of inspection to referral for criminal prosecution for serious and/or recurring violations. All FSIS in-plant inspectors are authorized to issue noncompliance records (NRs) anytime they see a violation, and plants are expected to promptly take corrective action to address the problem. If FSIS remains unsatisfied that the situation has been addressed, the agency can intensify inspection or take other regulatory action. For repeated alleged violations, FSIS conducts Food Safety Assessments and issues Notices of Intended Enforcement (NOIEs) actions, which can result in regulatory action including suspension of inspection.  FSIS compliance activity continues to intensify if changes are not realized. If inspection is suspended, a plant cannot operate under federal law. If a pathogen (or any hazard) is reasonably likely to occur in the absence of additional controls, plants are required to identify and address them in their HACCP plans. Although FSIS does not have the authority to enforce performance standards that are not based on food safety/sanitation, FSIS is in the process of setting standards for several product categories and will make public those plants failing to achieve those standards.  And again, as in the case of NR issuance, FSIS will intensify inspection and take other regulatory action where warranted. FSIS can take action to suspend inspection with evidence of insanitary conditions or shipment of adulterated products. Through mandatory reporting by establishments of adulterated or misbranded product, CDC monitoring of illness outbreaks, and the agency’s own routine in-plant and in-commerce surveillance, FSIS is readily able to identify and respond to potential food-safety situations.

Is it true that 80% of the chicken sold in the U.S is “chicken parts?” According to the National Chicken Council, 11 percent are marketed as whole chickens, 40 percent parts (raw breasts, wings, drumsticks, etc.), and 49 percent further processed/value added. The latter includes nuggets, strips, patties, and other fully cooked products that contain chicken. FSIS has zero tolerance for certain pathogens, including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, in cooked and ready-to-eat products, such as chicken franks, lunch meat and fully cooked nuggets and strips.


chicken council


How to Manage Poultry in Hot Weather

Published by permission from The Poultry Times. c/o N/A originally printed 4/7/2016.

Written by Gillan Ritchie

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Summer is a few months away but it is time for poultry producers to watch temperatures and the effects that warmer weather will have on their flocks. Hot weather can affect poultry flocks and how they perform. Birds typically experience heat stress when the temperature rises above 80 degrees F; effects become more apparent when the temperature rises above 85 degrees F. When a bird experiences heat stress, the bird will begin to pant and physiological changes within its body will help eliminate excessive heat. By practicing proper heat management, poultry producers will be able to keep their birds comfortable and maintain growth; hatchability; egg size, shell quality and production. Birds will start to dissipate body heat from the wattles, shanks and the unfeathered areas under the wings when temperatures rise above mid- to upper 90s. Poultry do not sweat and must dissipate body heat to maintain a body temperature of 105°F. Normal behavior, feed intake and metabolism are not altered drastically when the bird maintains its body temperature through heat loss.

Poultry house ventilation helps birds maintain a proper body temperature by sensible heat loss.   Methods for sensible heat loss include radiation, conduction and convection, which are effective methods when the temperature ranges from 55 degrees F to 75 degrees F. However, once temperatures rise above 77 degrees F, the method for heat loss shifts to evaporative heat loss. Birds will dissipate body heat by panting, which occurs once temperatures reach 80 degrees F. When a bird pants during evaporative heat loss, the heat is removed through the evaporation of water of the moist lining of the respiratory tract. Panting though, generates more heat, and causes birds to eliminate water from their body. Evaporative heat loss becomes the primary method by which birds regulate their body temperature during the summer months unless proper steps to reduce heat stress are taken. Heat stress can be reduced by maintaining a grass cover around the poultry house to help reduce the reflection of sunlight into the house. The vegetation should also be trimmed to avoid blocking any air movement.

Trees can be planted, but ensure that they are in areas that don’t restrict air movement. Make clean and cool water available to the birds; electrolytes can be added to the water source to help replace those lost during periods of heat stress. Provide adequate ventilation and air circulation for the nesting boxes. To read more about the signs of heat stress, Pennsylvania State University Extension offers more information at

poultry times

California State University to receive part of $2.3-million grant to combat downy mildew in vegetables

Published by permission from AG Professional Magazine. c/o Farm Journal Media originally printed 6/6/2016.

Written By Michigan State University May 06, 2016

Downy mildew, a fungus-like pathogen, represents one of the greatest threats to American vegetable crops. After nearly 120 years as a relatively rare, easily managed crop disease, downy mildew surged in 2004 — devastating cucurbit crops throughout southeastern United States. The disease spread into Michigan and the Midwest the following year, and has been a serious problem ever since. More than 2.6 million acres, representing approximately $7.5 billion in high-value crops, are affected each year by downy mildew.

Controlling the disease has become a high priority for researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has awarded Michigan State University and collaborators at six other universities a four-year, $2.3 million grant to develop management plans for downy mildew.

MSU AgBioResearch plant pathologist Mary Hausbeck (picture) is the lead on the grant project. She has been helping Michigan vegetable growers battle downy mildew for the past 10 years. The threat has risen in recent years as the pathogen has developed resistance to many formerly effective fungicides, she said.

“Each year in Michigan, it becomes more difficult to grow cucumbers,” said Hausbeck, university distinguished professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and MSU Extension specialist. “We’re the No. 1 state for cucumbers for pickling, but this pathogen makes every year a challenge to grow them successfully.”

Hausbeck and her colleagues have formed a multistate research group uniting plant pathologists, plant breeders, social scientists and economists in efforts to develop advanced tactics for growers to confront downy mildew. They will work to enhance and refine early detection methods that allow growers to identify the pathogen’s presence in the air even before it infects fields and becomes a problem. Current early detection practices are labor-intensive and do not provide growers with real-time updates.

Recent advances in genomics and molecular biology will allow the group to design and implement improved diagnostic and forecasting tools to identify and track the pathogen. Plant breeders will also work on developing and testing new downy mildew-resistant varieties of cucumbers, basil and spinach, some of the most threatened crops.

A nationwide outreach program will also work to deliver the group’s findings to growers through regularly updated web-based tools and talks with growers and other industry stakeholders. A coordinated summer internship program will train a diverse group of undergraduate students, educating the next generation of growers, plant researchers and outreach specialists.

“By sharing our expertise, we’re going to have a team capable of addressing the various aspects of this pathogen, rather than each of us working by ourselves,” Hausbeck said. “We want to provide growers with better diagnostic tools and management strategies which will reduce the risk of downy mildew and improve the security of these crops. I know we can improve what we’ve been doing, and these new resources and the expertise of this team will let us do that.”

Slowing the advance of downy mildew in Michigan is especially critical to the state’s food industry.

“East of the Mississippi, we tend to have humid conditions and plenty of rainfall,” Hausbeck said. “That’s a good growing climate, but it’s also an inviting climate for diseases. If we can’t control them, that means we’ll have to start sourcing our vegetables from farther west. I think consumers would rather have their cucurbits and basil locally grown.”

In addition to MSU, the University of Florida, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, Cornell University, California State University and North Carolina State University, as well as the USDA Agricultural Research Service, are participating in the grant project.

AG professional