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Re: Proper compost
Hello Elaine. Thank you for your excellent explanations on E.coli
and compost teas. I still have a question about your point below:
> From a food safety point-of-view, compost needs to be E. coli free. For compost tea purposes,
> compost needs to be E. coli free.
> As I've said before, E. coli is an indicator of the presence of other human pathogens. If E. coli is
> not present, most likely the human pathogens are not present either, because the human pathogens,
> like Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia and Pasteurella have similar requirements for growth and
> survival as E .coli. If E. coli is present, sooner or later, you will have a human pathogen present,
> and the likelihood for disease significant.
It seems to me that to require E.coli testing of compost for it to be
considered organic sets an even *higher* safety standard than
testing for the presence of pathogens themselves (like O157:H7,
Salmonella, etc.). As you said, E.coli is simply an indicator, not a
pathogen itself (except a few strains), and that it simply indicates
conditions favorable to the emergence/growth of pathogens. So,
this standard disqualifies from organic certification a compost, not
because it contains pathogens, but because its contains conditions
similar to those which may be favorable to pathogens. This seems
to be a more restrictive standard.
Is this an accurate interpretation of the requirement for E.coli
testing of organic compost?