Food-Safe Fungi: Produce safety resources for mushroom growers
Mushroom growers often have a unique perspective on food safety compared to growers of other types of produce. For one, indoor fungiculture incorporates different production methods from many crops. It involves purchasing or reproducing spawn, inoculating, sterilizing, and maintaining optimal moisture and temperature levels - which often vary by variety. All of this occurs while also keeping careful watch over mold and bacterial growth that would harm the fungi being grown on purpose. It’s a delicate balance between good and bad fungal growth.
On one hand, this attention to microbial activity gives an advantage to mushroom farmers who are thinking about food safety. They are already used to things like cleaning and sanitizing, and are fully aware of the damage bad bacteria can have on a product. On the other hand, mushroom growers have a lot to consider, and since fungiculture is so unique to other types of agriculture, it requires training and resource materials that are unique, too.
Here are a few resources (verified 7-12-21) that were designed specifically for mushroom growers:
Michigan Produce Safety Technicians are also available to work directly with mushroom growers on-farm or at their facilities to help address microbial risks to food safety and offer technical assistance for risk-reduction practices.