What Happens to Rejected Lots – Sprouts Industy Information

What Happens to Rejected Lots?


International Specialty Supply

August 16, 2001

Dear Bob,

[From a grower who visited ISS recently] “I was completely blown away. You need people to see what you are doing … [and to] put your files on the Internet”…. “What happens to all those lots you rejected?”

Dear Grower,

Thanks for visiting. Pathogens in properly sampled seed can be captured for detection with statistical probabilities exceeding 99.9%. However, improperly sampled seed can reduce those probabilities to less than 2%.

Properly sampling a truckload of seed can take one person three eight-hour days. Inspecting the sampled seed takes another eight hours. The seed is then sprouted in a segregated sprout facility using the same techniques commercial growers use (except it is not sanitized). We then test the sprouts for pathogens using the FDA guidelines for commercial sprout producers. This eight-day process takes three skilled technicians. We reject about as many lots as we accept. (It is the large file of rejected seed lots this grower was referring too.)

The importance of a properly managed seed HACCP plan, including proper sampling and testing procedures, does not allow ISS to have satellite warehouses. It does no good to have a warehouse person send a seed sample off to a lab for pathogen testing. This may make a seed company look like they are doing something, when what they are doing has no significance whatsoever.

ISS is happy to give customers a copy of the sampling, inspection, growing, and testing procedures and results on each lot of seed. Each step of each procedure is dated and initialed by the person who accomplished the task. ISS guarantees that all of the documentation on any lot of seed was done in the manner described in its documentation. This documentation should be included in a growers HACCP Plan.

What happens to the lots we reject? I don’t know what happens to all of them, but I have seen some of them for sale by other sprouting seed suppliers.