Submitted to: China International Food Safety and Quality Conference(CIFQC)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 11, 2008
Publication Date: September 24, 2008
Citation: Luo, Y. 2008. Critical Issues in Maintaining Fresh and Fresh-cut Produce Safety. [abstract] China International Food Safety and Quality Conference(CIFQC).
An increasing number of food-borne illness outbreaks have been associated with the consumption of fresh and fresh-cut produce contaminated with human pathogens. Produce grows in the natural environment and undergoes much handling on its journey from farm to table, making it vulnerable to human pathogen contamination. Further, nutrients released from injured produce tissues can support the growth of pathogens, thus compromising the food safety status of fresh produce. This is especially a concern for packaged fresh-cut leafy green vegetables as these products are often marketed as “ready-to-eat” despite having no effective microbial killing step during their preparation. Therefore, preventing contamination with pathogens and limiting pathogen growth are critical measures to ensure produce safety. This presentation will discuss the food safety challenges faced by the industry and scientific communities in maintaining produce safety. The focus will be on the ecology of the associated human pathogens, strategies to prevent contamination and limit pathogen growth in the supply chain, and the development of intervention technologies.