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This study cooperated with commercial leafy green growers across Vermont and in nearby states to study the effect of different numbers of washes (rinses) and/or two sanitizer treatments on generic E. coli levels in wash water. The goal was to identify the practices which were most effective at reducing the risk of cross contamination. When farms with very high levels of E. coli in the first wash used a full rate of sanitizer, the levels were typically reduced to zero, but when a triple wash was used without sanitizer the E. coli levels were reduced, but not always to zero. This suggests that while triple washing can be effective at reducing E. coli in wash water with low incoming loads, it may not be sufficient for higher levels of incoming E. coli in wash water.

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