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Food safety and tolerance for disinfectants or sanitizers

To keep the mushroom farm healthy, we use disinfectants to sanitize and disinfect areas around which the mushrooms are grown, harvested and packaged. Notice that this terminology alludes to the "cleaning of" not "control of" pathogens. Pesticides are the chemicals or biological agents used to control the growth and development of pathogens that directly attack the mushroom's spawn growth or fruiting bodies.
Often we take for granted the use of certain chemicals as common practice around a mushroom farm. Certainly we are well educated on the registration, use and safety of pesticides on a farm, however, disinfectants and sanitizers are often used without much consideration to food or worker safety. Growers need to remember that all chemicals (including disinfectants and sanitizers) have an EPA registration number and require growers to follow the details of the product's label. Some of these disinfectants and sanitizers are registered for Food Contact Surfaces (FCS) and can be used around the crop at their allowable concentrations. However, some are only registered for General Sanitation (GS) and cannot be used in anyway if the chemical can contact the mushrooms, compost or casing. Contact that is unintentional is not allowable. Inadvertent movement of these products can potentially create minute amounts of residues on the mushrooms.
The objective of disinfecting is to kill both spores and mycelium of mushroom pathogens, like Trichoderma and Verticillium, as well as human pathogens that are a potential food safety issue. In addition, the disinfecting of the farm after and between crops is to kill mushroom spores and mycelial fragments for control of virus disease, not often found on the white button mushrooms, but a potentially serious problem for Portabella and Phase III tunnel farms. It is known that mushroom viruses can be carried back into the process via surviving mushroom spores and mycelium. Some products (chlorine or some oxidizing chemical), approved for direct application because there is zero residue, are used to reduce bacterial populations on the mushrooms.

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