Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 4, 2012
Publication Date: March 15, 2012
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2012. Striving for safety in fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables [abstract]. European Association for Food Safety Workshop. March 15-16, 2012, Bucharest, Romania. 1:1.
Consumption of fresh produce is a central component of a healthy diet. However, contamination of leafy greens, tomatoes, cantaloupes and other fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables with human pathogens is a source of ongoing concern for consumers. Industry and regulators have worked together to identify key risk factors in the entire supply chain, from pre-harvest through post-harvest and consumption. While the efforts of growers, packers, processors and retailers have identified and responded to these risk factors, product recalls and food-borne illnesses associated with fruits and vegetables continue. This presentation will provide an overview of the most important produce-associated events of recent years, such as cantaloupe, sprouts and leafy greens. The most significant research problems facing producers and processors will be presented and discussed. Conventional treatments for fresh produce have typically been able to achieve 1-2 logs reductions of such pathogens as Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. A summary will be provided of promising novel approaches, improved physical and chemical treatments and nonthermal technologies suitable for application to fresh produce. This presentation will serve to introduce the key topics of the Workshop and facilitate understanding of the challenges associated with producing and distributing safer fruits and vegetables.