Food Safety 101

Our biosecurity lead, Simon, has an affinity for microbiology, so we couldn’t have asked for a better person to give you a little insight into how we keep our greens squeaky clean.

One of the major challenges in traditional farming is managing the growing environment. Greens grown outdoors are affected by so many factors: soil health, exposure to pests, and water quality to name a few. Vertical farming at Planted Detroit offers solutions to many of these challenges. We can confidently say that our greens are the cleanest and safest available for the following reasons:

  1. We use municipal water to irrigate the roots of our plants. This means water never touches the edible portion of the plants we grow. Compare this to a traditional farm that sprays surface water (often contaminated with E. coli) directly onto the parts of the plant that you eat. This contamination often comes from nearby animal agriculture such as beef or dairy farms. Of course, there is no such farm near Planted Detroit, we’re right in the heart of the city!
  2. We practice robust biosecurity measures designed to limit human contact with our produce. This includes wearing personal protective equipment, extensive food safety training, and automation that keeps our greens and our employees safe.
  3. Our facility is designed for food safety. The growing rooms are air tight, allowing us to prevent exposure to airborne pathogens. All surfaces are designed to stay clean and are sanitized between tasks and after every day of work. Walls, floors, and equipment are sanitized on a strict schedule, much like a laboratory.
  4. We are a certified member of Michigan Good Agricultural Practice Network. This means we are voluntarily audited and held to a food safety standard shared by field grown produce. Additionally, we are also a licensed food processing facility. This means we are held to a higher standard of food safety than any field or greenhouse operation.
  5. We test our water, our surfaces, and our finished products to ensure our preventative practices are working. These combined practices mean there is no need to wash our greens before eating them. It also means our shelf life extends well into the second week of refrigeration as there are inherently many fewer spoilage organisms present in our ultra clean facility!

All of this together means we outperform field grown leafy greens across the board in regards to food safety. No pesticides, no herbicides, no dirty water, no wildlife, no pests, limited human contact, extended shelf life, higher nutritional value, and no need to wash. What’s not to love?

For questions about biosecurity, certifications, or to gush about food safety, Simon can be reached at

boots, PPE, and lockers in biosecurity room door to grow room from biosecurity room
billy wearing PPE tending to herbs in the nursery end view of hydroponic system, billy measuring in background

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