EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF FRESH-CUT PRODUCE WASH OPERATION ON FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
ARS is interested in reducing food safety risks by improving fresh-cut produce wash operation. The Cooperator is interested in evaluating new anti-microbial agents on pathogen reduction. The Cooperator has the expertise and infrastructure to effectively conduct the proposed research activities.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
ARS will acquire the basic knowledge of the factors influencing sanitizer degradation, pathogen attachment and internalization during leafy greens and tomato wash process. The Cooperator will provide the expertise in chemistry, surface adsorption, and other characteristics in relation to sanitizer performance on pathogen reduction.
The agreement was formalized by the recruitment of a visiting scientist to undertake the studies on the effect of a novel chlorine stabilizer, T128, on chlorine’s efficacy against pathogen survival and cross-contamination. We performed both laboratory and pilot plant studies and demonstrated that T128 significantly increases the efficacy of chlorine wash against bacterial survival in wash solution while maintaining the quality of leafy green vegetables under real world fresh-cut processing conditions.
The progress of this project has been closely monitored by the ADODR via frequent contact with the PI at the University of Maryland via conference calls, face-to-face meetings, and e-mails.