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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Pre and post harvest interventions for preventing potential contamination of apples with human pathogens

item Annous, Bassam

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2011
Publication Date: 12/5/2011
Citation: Annous, B.A. 2011. Pre and post harvest interventions for preventing potential contamination of apples with human pathogens. Meeting Abstract. Washington State Horticultural Association. December 5-7, 2011. Prosser, Washington. Volume 1,Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The possible presence of pathogens on the surface and/or inaccessible sites (calyx, stem, and/or core) of apples has implications for the microbiological safety of supplies to the fresh and fresh-cut industry. Contamination of apples with human pathogen can occur during growth, harvesting, distribution and processing. Orchard surveys conducted by scientists at our laboratory have shown that locating an orchard next to a pasture, and constituents of the orchard environment, including fecal matter, soil, irrigation and surface water, and windblown dust were the potential sources of contamination for fruit. Furthermore, results showed that conventional and experimental washing treatments were not effective in inactivating and/or removing pathogenic cells attached to inaccessible sites of the apple. The results of our studies served as a scientific basis for U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for mandatory adoption of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs. The basic concept of a HACCP system focuses on prevention of contamination through planning, controlling and documenting the safe production of a particular food. HACCP system should include effective intervention steps, capable of preventing contamination before it happens. Effective intervention steps capable of preventing apple contamination during growth, harvesting, distribution and processing can augment current Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices to improve safety of fresh and fresh-processed apple products.

Last Modified: 07/21/2017
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