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Hydroponics Operations

Hydroponic and Aquaponic Operations

The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) at the University of Vermont developed the following resources for produce safety in hydroponic and aquaponic operations. These resources, primarily written for the audience of produce safety educators and regulatory officials, guide readers through produce safety considerations specific to hydroponic and aquaponic operations. They assume a general background in the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule and are supplementary to the content of the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training.


1. Cleaning and Sanitizing: fact sheet to help growers identify their food contact surfaces and non-food contact surfaces to inform the creation of a cleaning and sanitizing schedule and appropriate standard operating procedures.

2. Fish Health and Handling: fact sheet that focuses on practices that promote an aquatic environment that will support the growth of healthy fish, thereby reducing produce safety risk.

3. Harvest and Postharvest Handling: fact sheet that focuses on practices that reduce the risk for cross-contamination between water, tools and equipment, and people during harvest and postharvest activities.

4. Personal Health and Hygiene: fact sheet to help growers consider the different ways humans interact throughout the system. Based on these interactions, growers need to understand when health and hygiene training must be provided.

5. Wildlife and Domesticated Animals: fact sheet that focuses on assessment, monitoring and exclusion practices specific to an operation, whether open to the environment, partially- or fully-enclosed.