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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Protection of Food and Water Supplies from Pathogen Contamination Title: A framework for developing research protocols for evaluation of microbial hazards and controls during production that pertain to the quality of agricultural water contacting fresh produce that may be consumed raw

Authors
item Harris, Linda -
item Bihn, Elizabeth -
item Bender, Jeff -
item Blessington, Tyann -
item Danyluk, Michelle -
item Delaquis, Pascal -
item Ibekwe, Abasiofiok
item Goodridge, Lawrence -
item Ilic, Sanja -
item Kniel, Kali -
item Lejeune, Jeffrey -
item Schaffner, Donald -
item Stoeckel, Don -
item Suslow, Trevor -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 2012
Publication Date: December 1, 2012
Repository URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/53102000/pdf_pubs/P2413.pdf
Citation: Harris, L.J., Bihn, E.A., Bender, J., Blessington, T., Danyluk, M.D., Delaquis, P., Ibekwe, A.M., Goodridge, L., Ilic, S., Kniel, K., Lejeune, J.T., Schaffner, D., Stoeckel, D., Suslow, T. 2012. A framework for developing research protocols for evaluation of microbial hazards and controls during production that pertain to the quality of agricultural water contacting fresh produce that may be consumed raw. Journal of Food Protection. 75(12):2251-2273.

Interpretive Summary: This document provides an overview of the factors that need to be considered in developing a study that pertains to agricultural water. It offers suggestions for selecting the generally-accepted good, better, and best practices for many of the experimental factors discussed in this document. Attempts should be made to balance these choices, and the study report should clearly articulate justifications for the choices made. It is anticipated that researchers will be able to use this document as an approach to design studies; the produce industry or competent authorities should also find this document useful in evaluating the strength of existing data and thus aid in identifying future research needs. Use of this document may lead to greater consistency than currently exists between research studies, and this may ultimately facilitate direct comparison of hazards and efficacy of controls among different commodities, conditions, and practices. The results of this research will be used by growers, researchers, FDA, and different state agencies that are involved in leafy green production.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural water may contact fresh produce during irrigation and/or when crop protection sprays (e.g., cooling to prevent sunburn, frost protection, and agrochemical mixtures) are applied. This document provides a framework for designing research studies that would add to our understanding of preharvest microbial food safety hazards and control measures pertaining to agricultural water. Researchers will be able to use this document to design studies, to anticipate the scope and detail of data required, and to evaluate previously published work. This document should also be useful for evaluating the strength of existing data and thus should aid in identifying future research needs. Use of this document by the research community may lead to greater consistency or comparability than currently exists among research studies, which may ultimately facilitate direct comparison of hazards and efficacy of controls among different commodities, conditions, and practices.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014