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  • Hemp is sold as a raw food so avoiding contamination is extremely important.
  • All harvest related equipment should be cleaned out prior to harvest to ensure no contamination occurs from other crop types that are difficult to clean out of hemp. For example, wheat - There is a higher loss of hemp seed during the cleaning operation and aggressive removal of the wheat is required to maintain the gluten free status of hemp.  
  • Combine divergent crops like canola or soybeans before combining hemp. This cleans out the combine and these crops are easily removed if contamination occurs.
  • Inadequate clean-out can mean higher dockage levels, downgrading of the sample and possible product rejection.
  • Clean grain as soon as possible to maintain grain quality and ensure safe storage. This will also reduce build-up of molds, E. coli, Streptococcus, etc.
  • Cover combine hoppers and trucks if being left overnight or longer to keep birds and animals out.
  • Inspect trucks for cleanliness before loading clean grain that is destined for the processor.
  • For maximum shelf life, grain should be stored in a clean, dry location.  Storage temperatures in excess of 24° Celsius for a sustained period of time may cause rancidity and separation of the soluble and insoluble proteins.

Hemp grain, hulled hemp seed and other hemp products enter directly into the food chain. Quality before processing is necessary to meet market and health guidelines. Below isan exampleof limits for various pathogens that are allowed in hemp grain before processing.Producers should check with the grain contractor for individual requirements.  


Microbiological Limits:

Peroxide Value Less than 4 meq/kg
Standard Plate Count <100,000 CFU/g
Total Coliforms <1000 CFU/g
Fecal Coliforms Negative=LOD<10CFU/g
E. coli Negative=LOD<10CFU/g
Salmonella Negative
Staphylococcus A Negative
Mold & Yeast <1000CFU/g
Gluten Less than 20ppm
THC Less than 10ppm
Pesticide Residue Nil