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Posts tagged ‘On-Farm Food Safety’

US: Practical pointers around submitting water samples for food safety

Michigan State University: Water sampling to meet federal on-farm food safety guidelines can be confusing. This article helps eliminate some confusion about taking and submitting a water sample.

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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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Check out who has pledged support for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

Thank you to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry for the great response and support for the establishment of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The FPSC in gaining momentum with over $125,000 in pledged funds!

These funds will be leveraged to apply for matched funding from the Australian government to develop the strategic plan of the Centre, the Constitution, the legal framework, the Board of Directors, and the R&D priorities as communicated to us by the fresh produce industry.  The Centre will administer the following activities in food safety that will benefit the entire fresh produce industry:

  • securing and managing research funds,
  • leveraging research funding,
  • managing the industry-driven research projects,
  • maintaining the website,
  • providing education, communication and information

Look who has pledged!

Institute of Food Technologists Launches Global Food Traceability Center

The Global Food Traceability Center will serve all aspects of the food system by generating knowledge that addresses research gaps, and delivering applied research, objective advice, and practical expertise about food product traceability and data collaboration for private benefit and public good.

Through its work, the Center will provide the means to accelerate the adoption and implementation of practical traceability solutions across the global food system. It will also deliver support services that help to increase understanding of food traceability across the following business platforms:

  • Research
  • Protocols and Standards
  • Education and Training
  • Technology Transfer

To find out more, click here.

Report summarising the outcomes of 2012/13 of the FPS A&NZ

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.

Center for Produce Safety Research Findings Now Online

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 include:

  • 2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned – an insider’s guide on the symposium’s key findings authored by Dr. Whitaker and PMA Vice President of Food Safety & Technology Dr. Jim Gorny.
  • 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 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

10 Lessons Learned at the 2013 CPS Symposium

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

2013 CPS Research Symposium resources now available

A number of resources from the 4th annual Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium have now been made available via the CPS website:

  • Symposium presentations including one by Bill Marler – “The Evolving Legal and Financial Realities of Produce Food Safety: What it means for you”- CPS website. See the full list of Resources
  • Final reports, CPS funded research – CPS website; Awards list . Reports are noted on right hand side of the page.
  • CPS 2013 Research Posters – CPS website; Poster Sessions

Stay tuned for the key learnings from the event.

Increasing the awareness of fresh produce safety is ongoing.

The New South Wales parliamentary Inquiry into the Management of Domestic Wastewater  suggests there had been either a “negligent disregard” for human health or a lack of awareness about the dangers of using raw sewage.

The final report found that untreated effluent is being used on some farms and market gardens as a form of fertiliser and that a small number of farmers deliberately use waste on their crops, additionally it also suggests that many sewage systems on small farms are failing.

Camden MP Chris Patterson, who chaired the inquiry, said most farmers are doing the right thing. “That would be very minimal if that is occurring,” he said.

“It did find out there’s a need for greater education amongst market gardens potentially in non-English backgrounds.”

To increase the awareness of fresh produce safety, FPS A&NZ is looking for support to provide a coordinated approach to research and outreach for industry-identified fresh produce safety issues and challenges in Australia and New Zealand. 

This will be a ‘go-to’ source for all information and news related to food safety and  act as an important interface for information between regulatory bodies and the industry at all parts of the value chain.

The industry has come a long way to bring about greater collaboration on the critical issue of food safety in the fresh produce industry, however work in this area must be ongoing to ensure the health and safety of the consumer and to build on the strengths of the fresh produce industry.

For more information regarding the actions FPS A&NZ is taking to address food safety issues and challenges and how you can be involved contact:

‘What it takes to instill a food safety culture in your business’ new presentation

Food Safety in our industry is a consumer-right, requiring a collaborative effort from all sectors of the industry. Dr Douglas Powell, Professor of food safety at Kansas State University was at PMA Fresh Connections 2013 Conference last week to challenge businesses not to rely on regulation, but to rely on their staff to deliver safe food.

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