Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2005
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Citation: Bhagwat, A.A. 2006. Microbiological safety of fresh-cut produce: where are we now?. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press. p. 121-165.
Ready-to-eat, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are ideally suited for health our conscious and busy society. Ready-to-eat produce is not subjected to any 'kill-steps' such as surface pasteurization or cooking and heavily relies on refrigeration 5 °C and to restrict the microbial load. Thus, fresh-cut produce, which is often eaten raw, represents a significant challenge to food safety. Many of the foodborne pathogens themselves are evolving, and new pathogens and strains are emerging that are adapted to new environmental niches. The book chapter focuses on understanding and addressing food safety needs of fresh-cut produce. Some of the important topics covered are microbial adaptation to selective pressures exerted by fresh-cut preparation methods, relation between acid-tolerance and infective dose, current status of detection of foodborne pathogens in produce, and the role of action agencies in foodborne outbreaks.