A TRANS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO IMPROVING PRODUCE SAFETY
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
Project Number: 1245-32420-005-27
General Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 26, 2011
End Date: Aug 31, 2014
ARS is interested in developing effective intervention technologies during post-harvest handling and fresh-cut processing to inactivate pathogens, and/or reduce their survival and growth while maintaining produce quality and shelf-life. A team has been assembled, consisting of researchers from University of Illinois, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, and University of California, each contributing their unique expertise to achieve the goals of the research. The proposed research is a part of an awarded NIFA grant entitled “Innovative Technologies and Process Optimization for Food Safety Risk Reduction Associated with Fresh and Fresh-cut Leafy Green Vegetables” (Agreement # 60-1265-1-029).
The Cooperator has expertise in performing cost-benefit analysis of food safety solutions. Specifically, in years one and two: detailed interviews with key personnel of processors will be conducted in order to determine costs of adopting alternative processing technologies and environmental impacts. In year three: detailed interviews with key personnel of retail stores will be conducted in order to determine costs of adopting new improved food safety features, and the environmental impact. In year four: the economic, social, and environmental benefits of the proposed technologies will be documented.