Monday, May 13, 2013 by Lee Mannering
Next month, the Center for Produce Safety will hold its 2013 Research Symposium, June 25-26 at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, New York. A few weeks ago, I shared that noted food safety attorney Bill Marler will present the CPS keynote address on June 25 on the evolving legal and financial realities of produce food safety and what it means for the industry. Today I’m taking a detailed look at the following food safety issues that will be discussed:
- A series on Listeria. Topics include a discussion of Listeria and produce (what you need to know and lessons learned to manage risks); Listeria 101; and living the reality of a Listeria contamination event.
- Composts and Ag Practices/Pathogen Survival. Topics include validating Salmonella inactivation during thermal processing of the physically heat-treated chicken litter as a soil amendment and organic fertilizer; validation of testing methods for the detection and quantification of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., fecal coliforms and non-pathogenic E. coli in compost; an investigation of E. coli survival on contaminated crop residue; and glucosinolate-derived compounds as a green manure for controlling E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in soil.
- Water Quality for Irrigation and Postharvest Practices. Topics include an assessment of E. coli as an indicator of microbial quality or irrigation water use for produce; an evaluation of sampling protocol to provide science-based metrics for use in identification of Salmonella in irrigation water testing programs in mixed produce farms in the Suwannee River watershed; enhancing the efficacy of fresh produce washing operations through establishing monitoring methods and water disinfection technologies based on a combination of filtration and UV; and parameter optimization to reduce susceptibility of tomatoes and peppers to post-harvest contamination, pathogen transfer and proliferation of Salmonella.
- Pathogen Transference: Preharvest, Harvest and Packing. Topics include the likelihood of cross‐contamination of head lettuce by E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and norovirus during hand harvest and recommendations for glove sanitizing and use; pathogen transfer risks associated with specific tomato harvest and packing operations; the survival, transfer, and inactivation of Salmonella on plastic materials used in tomato harvest; E- coli O157:H7 in bioaerosols from cattle production areas: evaluation of proximity and airborne transport on leafy green crop contamination.
- Sanitization of soft fruits with ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Topics include the influence of the pre-harvest environment on the physiological state of Salmonella and its impact on increased survival capability; Comparative assessment of field survival of Salmonella enterica and E. coli O157:H7 on cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) in relation to sequential cutting and re-growth; and the role of riparian zones in bacteria dispersal to produce farms.
Finally, though I’ve pointed out this resource before, I’m mentioning it again because it translates produce science and research into layman’s terms. Available on our website, A Practical Guide to the Scientific Research Presented at The Center for Produce Safety’s 2012 Research Symposium includes research from the 18 projects covered during the 2012 symposium presentations, information from the annual or final reports for each project, prior research funded through CPS relevant to these findings, posters on display at the symposium, and panel discussions following session presentations.
In addition, if you’re planning to join us in Rochester for the CPS event, we invite you to join us the day after for a Fresh Connections event on June 27 - where PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker will explore key findings, highlights and business implications from the 2013 symposium. More details on Fresh Connections: Rochester will be available soon.