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Posts from the ‘Research & Development’ Category

Outbreaks, occurrence and control of norovirus and Hep A in berries

The team from the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry has published a review paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition on norovirus and Hep A in berries. Dr Hayriye Bozkurt, Dr Kim-Yen Phan-Thien, Dr Floris van Ogtrop, A/Prof Tina Bell and Prof Robyn McConchie co-authored “Outbreaks, occurrence, and control of norovirus and hepatitis a virus contamination in berries: A review”. The review found that inadequate handler hygiene was the predominant source of pre- and post-harvest contamination, but that the current industrial processing methods (freezing, storage and washing) provided limited efficacy in reducing viral load.  They recommended key interventions in personal and environmental hygiene and the development of alternative processing technologies to induce sufficient viral inactivation in berries while maintaining sensory and quality attributes.

Read the review paper here.

Fact Sheet: Animal Impact on Produce Safety

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US: UC Davis launches produce fact sheets app

UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center: As a global resource, the UC Postharvest Technology Center website is visited over 3 million times a year and contains more than 660 pages and 750 documents with postharvest information and related resources.

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AU: Cassava: the staple crop that can kill you

Food Processing: Easy to cultivate and drought-tolerant, the cassava plant is eaten by a billion people around the world every day. But its popularity is also its weakness, as attacks by pests and diseases have a potentially huge impact on food security. It’s also the only staple crop that can kill you or cause chronic neurological disease if it’s not processed, potentially producing fatal levels of cyanide when drought-stressed.

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US: Study shows need to monitor microbial levels in dump tanks

Good Fruit Grower: The study by Seattle-based iDecisionSciences collected and examined dump tank monitoring data from five Washington apple packing houses to determine whether dump tank water preventive controls are controlling microbial levels and meeting requirements of the companies’ food safety plans. “We used microbial water testing data to establish how effective those preventive controls are during the course of normal packing operations,” said iDecisionSciences CEO Diane Wetherington.

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US: Study looks at lettuce grown near livestock

The Packer: Lettuce grown too close to livestock production areas can be at greater risk of pathogen contamination. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by scientists at New York’s Clarkson University, “Bioaerosol Deposition to Food Crops near Manure Application: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment.”

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SA: Microbiological food safety status of commercially produced tomatoes from production to marketing

Journal of Food Protection: Tomatoes have been implicated in various microbial disease outbreaks and are considered a potential vehicle for foodborne pathogens. Traceback studies mostly implicate contamination during production and/or processing. The microbiological quality of commercially produced tomatoes was thus investigated from the farm to market, focusing on the impact of contaminated irrigation and washing water, facility sanitation, and personal hygiene. A total of 905 samples were collected from three largescale commercial farms from 2012 through 2014.

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US: Research shows feedlot link to E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens

Food Safety News: Current guidelines for the minimum distance between cattle feed lots and fresh produce growing fields are likely inadequate to ensure leafy greens are not contaminated with E. coli from dust and manure. “Additional research is needed to determine safe set-back distances between cattle feedlots and crop production that will reduce fresh produce contamination,” according to scientists who conducted a two-year study.

A two-year study at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center showed leafy greens planted well past the recommended minimum safety distance from a cattle feedlot were contaminated with E. coli from the dust and manure.

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UK: Research round-up: How can bacteriophages, turmeric and BARDOT ensure safe food?

Food Quality News: Research is a critical part of food safety. Many of the tools we have today have gone through much work before seeing the light of day. FQN takes a look at some recent work.

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US: Consumer definition of food safety expanded, study finds

Associations Now: Health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience, and transparency are all factors 51 percent of consumers weigh when determining which food items to purchase, according to a joint study from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and consulting firm Deloitte. The study, “Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equation,” found these new factors influence purchasing decisions in addition to traditional drivers like taste, price, and convenience.

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