Title: Food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables – What can be done to minimize the risks? Author
Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 2, 2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fruits and vegetables are an important part of human diet. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society that consumers eat at least five servings or more of fruits and vegetables each day. On the other hand, each year, people get sick from foods that have not been properly grown, handled, refrigerated, or cooked. There were 71 U.S. produce outbreaks from 1996 to 2006. Providing consumers with safe, wholesome fruits and vegetables is the first priority of agricultural and food scientists and industries. Fruits and vegetables can pick up chemicals and microorganisms as they are being grown, harvested, handled, packed, shipped and marketed. Various approaches have been tried to reduce microbial contamination. Such approaches include proper pre- and post-harvest practices followed by the Good Agricultural Practice (MAP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs; rapid detection of toxic chemicals and microbials; breeding for new cultivars with resistance to food borne microorganisms; traceability, etc. This workshop will address the major technologies for insuring fruit and vegetable safety, to help the industry to improve quality and safety of fresh and fresh-cut products.