Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick reminds growers that any produce that came in contact with flood waters earlier this summer cannot be eaten and must be destroyed.
Gardens that were partially flooded may still be growing. Produce ripe for picking may look edible. However, any plants that came in contact with flood water must be destroyed. It is a serious health concern,” said Helmick.
Flood waters carry pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Lysteria. Raw sewage, heavy metals and chemicals are also a concern. Whenever those organisms come in contact with a food source, it becomes dangerous to consume.
If the garden or plants belong to you, make sure to properly dispose of the produce. If you are purchasing produce from a roadside stand, ask where that food has come from. If there is any question it might have been contaminated, do not consume it.
If you have any questions about adulterated food or concerns someone may be selling produce from flooded areas, contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304-558-3708 or 304-541-5932. He can also be reached at email@example.com.