Attend the half-day professional development workshop for produce QA managers, trainers, auditors, students of food safety, risk managers and others, being delivered by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at Melbourne Markets Conference Centre, Epping, on Wednesday 12 October, 10am to 2pm.
Speakers from wholesale, retail, growers and regulatory organisations will update participants on the latest techniques and requirements for testing fresh produce.
10 August 2016
The FPSC will be holding its third annual conference in Sydney on 10 August 2016. With the theme of Innovation in fresh food safety, the conference will provide vital information and networking opportunities for all those in the fresh produce industry. Put 10 August in your diary now. Subscribe to our newsletter for information on sponsorship opportunities the conference program.
25 March 2015
Dr Trevor Suslow, from UC Davis, and Board member of the Center for Produce Safety, presented a seminar on current issues in microbial contamination of horticultural produce at the University of Sydney on Friday 20 March at 11.00am. The seminar has kindly been made available by the University of Sydney, and is available for viewing online using Adobe Connect (free download).
21 August 2014
The Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s feedback survey from the Fresh Produce Safety Conference on 11 August 2014 indicated that the conference was relevant, useful and an excellent networking opportunity. Specifically, 94% of the 67 respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the conference was relevant to their work, while 97% agreed or strongly agreed that the conference presentations were relevant or useful.
The CPS at the University of Davis has been very supportive of the initiatives in Australia to establish an affiliated Fresh Produce Safety Centre. Over the past year they have very generously shared their research outcomes, they have given presentations to our industry, and this year invited Australian researchers to apply for research grants to work collaboratively with US scientists on issues important for the Australian fruit and vegetable industry.
As part of the ongoing collaboration Dr Robyn McConchie from the University of Sydney was invited to take part in a panel session at the recent 2013 CPS Research Symposium held at Wegman’s Conference Centre in Rochester, NY State. Due to the increasing awareness and interest from the US industry, the Research Symposium was held over 2 days. To view a summary of Day 1 on Listeria and Composts please click here.
Click here to view the outcomes of projects from the second day on “Water Quality for Irrigation and Postharvest Practices”, ”Pathogen transference: Pre-harvest, harvest and Packaging.” And “Hot Topics.”
PMA A-NZ will be co-hosting this workshop with GS1 Australia, with the objective of furthering the adoption of GTIN and GS1 Databar in Australia. This is a must-attend event for retailers, suppliers and supply chain companies.
The biennial ASEAN Food Conference is the leading forum for the food industry and research community in the region. The theme of the 13th ASEAN Food Conference held on the 9th-11th September 2013 in Singapore was “Meeting Future Food Demands: Security and Sustainability”.
Issues of malnutrition, undernutrition, and sustainable production were certainly important topics. However the themes were interpreted quite broadly to encompass, for example, how improvement in nutritional quality and food safety could benefit consumer health and community livelihoods, and help to address the alarming worldwide escalation in diet-related and lifestyle diseases. Sustainability was discussed less in terms of environmental impact, and more in terms of innovations in food processing, quality and safety to sustain long-term food industries.
The program included sessions on: managing innovation, nutrition & health, food chemistry & biochemistry, sensory science & consumer studies, food microbiology, food engineering, food processing, food product development, protein and weight management, food safety, food science and technology education, functional foods, nanotechnology of food, food analysis and quality assurance, and management of allergens in the food chain. The full program is available online, click here.
The conference was about food generally, but some interesting topics relevant to produce safety included:
- Development of a fermentation process to produce a natural preservative called phenyllactic acid (PLA) from Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria. The PLA was shown to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of pathogens and extended the shelf-life of fresh-cut pineapple and bottled pineapple juice (Bui Kim Thuy, Nguyen Duy Lam, and Nguyen Thi Hoai Tram).
- Development of a Surface Plasmon Resonance biosensor and sensor chips with antibodies specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis, and Listeria monocytogenes. The biosensor is an experimental format that, if successful, would allow convenient simultaneous detection of target bacteria (Zhang Xiaoguang, Sachiko Tsuji, Ken-ichi Honjoh, and Takahisa Miyamoto).
- Direct irradiation with LED has bactericidal effects on E. coli O157:H7, S. Typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes dependent on the pH of the medium and LED wavelength – blue is better than green! (Vinayak Ghate, Leong Ai Ling, and Yuk Hyun-Gyun).
- Chitosan is a natural antimicrobial and antilisterial agent. Electron microscopy suggested that chitosan kills the bacteria by interfering with cell membrane permeability and causing leakage of cell contents (Juthamas Tantala, Titima Sukmark, Masubon Thongngam, Kanjana Thumanu, Pornchai Rachtanapun, Chitsiri Rachtanapun).
- Establishment of a microbial risk assessment and food safety system for the Singapore retail sector by the National Environment Agency (NEA). The NEA is a government agency that has brought together regulatory activity and research to develop and deliver a risk-based inspection and education service. A unique feature of this relates to the cultural popularity of ready-to-eat food bought from stalls, which have special hygiene challenges (Ramona A Gutierrez and Ng Lee Ching).
- Site visit to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, which is the national food safety agency. Singapore imports 90% of its food from all over the world and has extremely well-resourced labs to test for chemical contaminants, additives and preservatives, drug residues, pesticide residues, food pathogens, foodborne parasites, physical quality, GMO, and other toxins. It also provides export certification, accreditation of food businesses, and food safety education; implements labelling and advertisement regulations and food recalls; and has a variety of roles relating to the animals and pet sector.
The FPS A&NZ have made available the final report summarising the outcomes from the project “A New Collaborative Paradigm for Fresh Produce Safety”. This project was funding by the University of Sydney and the Produce Marketing Association Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) with matched funding from the Australian Government, accessed through Horticulture Australia Limited.
You can download the report here and read about the outcomes of the many activities conducted in the year.
New resources translating current research from the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) into practical applications for individual food safety programs are now online and openly available to all industry members. These tools distill the 16 CPS-funded research programs discussed at the 2013 Center for Produce Safety Produce Research Symposium held June 25-26 and the 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights event that followed June 27, both at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, N.Y.
“Translating science-based research on produce safety into real-world application for industry members’ own food safety programs is what the CPS, its annual symposium and these online tools are all about,” said Dr. Bob Whitaker, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Chief Science & Technology Officer. “By making this information widely available in everyday language, we are able to more effectively leverage data to improve food safety programs and close gaps in industry’s food safety efforts.”
Online tools available at PMA.com include:
- 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights presentations – eight recorded PowerPoint presentations led by Drs. Whitaker and Gorny. In addition to outlining the basics behind current CPS data, these presentations also look at some of the research’s implications relative to the Food Safety Modernization Act and current pending proposed rules.
Many of the key lessons noted in the guide and presentations will also be the subject of a series of podcasts PMA will be adding to its resource library over the next few months. The podcasts will feature Drs. Whitaker and Gorny along with PMA Director Food Safety & Technology Johnna Hepner and will be available through www.pma.com. The full technical reports for the 16 research programs presented during the 2013 CPS Produce Research Symposium can be found on the CPS website at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) held its fourth annual research symposium in Rochester, NY at the Wegmans Conference Center on June 25-26, 2013. The symposium featured sixteen CPS-funded research programs and discussions on what the research means. While the full technical reports for these research programs can be found on the CPS website, PMA’s Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer, and Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president food safety and technology, translated the research to identify ten key lessons learned from the symposium.
2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned