ISS Certified Sprouting Seed
ISS Screened Sprouting Seed
International Specialty Supply
April 16, 2002
To date, there is no known method that is 100% effective in eliminating Salmonella or E.Coli 0157H:7 from seed or sprouts once they are contaminated. So it just makes sense to start with seed that is not contaminated in the first place. The key is in properly drawing, inspecting, and testing a large enough sample to significantly reduce the odds of the seed having salmonella or E.coli 0157H:7
ISS has a rigid procedure that samples, screens and tests for these pathogens. Nobody can guarantee that the seed is free of pathogens, however, we furnish you with the documentation of what sampling, screening and testing we did, when it was done, and the results. In some cases, depending on the size of the lot and the amount of seed sampled, the sampling, screening, and testing procedure can reduce the statistical odds of having seed that is contaminated with these two pathogens substantially.
Many seed suppliers just send off a sample to a lab in order to have a piece of paper to give their customers. The lab tests 20 grams (less than an ounce). With this type of test, even if the seed were contaminated, the odds of finding it in a 20-gram sample are about 2%. If a seed supplier gives you this type of a test, consider it worthless – health inspectors do.
If you are a sprout grower, either purchase your seed from ISS and insist on ISS Screened Seed Documentation or insist that whoever you buy your seed from provides you with a written explanation of their testing methodology and the results of each step, who did it, and when. Once you receive the seed, it is wise to sample, inspect, and test it again.
Pre-testing the seed you use needs to be part of your HACCP plan and you need to have the documents that show you are implementing the plan. Have your ISS Screened Sprouting Seed Documentation readily available when health inspectors come.
We offer a wide variety of sprouting seed. Near the bottom of each SproutNet, we will feature the ISS Screened Sprouting Seed Documentation for one of the seeds we have for sale. The Documentation shows what tests were done to that lot of seed, what the results were and when each test was done. The person who did each test and signed off on the results initials the documentation.