The following alert was sent out to citrus packinghouses warning them of impending Global Food Safety audit failures when facilities aren’t using a wash water-anti-microbial sanitizer in recirculated fungicide flood systems. Any compatibility issue is addressed by Primus Auditing Ops by their recommendation of PAA products such as SaniDate.


Dear Primus Auditing Ops Customer,

We would like to clarify the expectation of the audit requirements, for both PrimusGFS and PrimusLabs Standard GMP audit schemes, for citrus packinghouses, specifically regarding the use of recirculated water systems with various additives at different steps in the process. Additives include soaps, fungicides and coatings such as carnauba and shellac/resin used to control dehydration. While it has been an accepted standard for there to be wash water sanitizers in the initial recirculated wash steps, there has been concern that the recirculated fungicide flood systems are not being treated with an anti-microbial/wash water sanitizer. As with any system using recirculated water there is an opportunity for cross contamination unless the water is being treated with an anti-microbial. There are many fungicide treatments available and research has shown that they are compatible with standard anti-microbial wash water sanitizers such as perxoyacetic acid (PAA). Packinghouses can work with their chemical provider in making their anti-microbial choices but know that there are sanitizers that are compatible with all fungicides currently commercially available.

We have instructed our auditors to consider an automatic failure when no antimicrobial is being used in a recirculated wash system at any step in the citrus packing process due to the opportunity for cross contamination. This includes at the fungicide flood system step. Our goal is to ensure this requirement is fully communicated with our clients in the citrus industry. Do not hesitate to contact our QA Department ( or 805.623.5563) with any questions.

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