Reducing Pathogen Presence in Fresh-Cut Produce with Sanitizers
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to facilitate evaluation in laboratory and scaled-up experimental trials of a range of sanitizers and associated chemicals as part of a series of food safety technologies and interventions.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
A range of processing options, including various sanitizing wash steps and sequences, will be used to evaluate reduction of E. coli on fresh-cut leafy greens while preserving produce quality. Non-pathogenic E. coli will be inoculated onto fresh leafy green produce or cut/shredded then inoculated. The product will be packaged, treated with modified atmosphere, subjected to simulated storage/transport and refrigerated retail display conditions prior to evaluation for E. coli survival. Cells of E. coli will be recovered from produce and wash water and quantified using standard plating or enrichment procedures.
Plans for collaborative studies to improve food safety of leafy green vegetables are under way. Ecolab is ready to ship the sanitizer dosing equipment and new sanitizers for ARS testing. The Microbiologist from Ecolab Inc. visited USDA facilities in Beltsville, Maryland and attended the stakeholder advisor meeting.