A TRANS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO IMPROVING PRODUCE SAFETY
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
Project Number: 1245-32420-005-26
General Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 15, 2011
End Date: Aug 30, 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 quality and microbial assessment of leafy greens after fresh cut processing. Specifically, the quality and shelf life of leafy greens will be evaluated following optimization of the bench and pilot-scale ultrasonic treatment washing units developed by the University if Illinois. Testing will be conducted in collaboration with Dole Fresh Vegetables (Bessemer City, NC).