Center for Produce Safety: Even with the best-laid plans, delays can happen during pistachio harvest and post-harvest handling. Not only can the slowdowns reduce overall nut processing efficiency and quality, but they also may have food safety implications. A two-year research project led by Dr. Linda Harris, Cooperative Extension specialist in microbial food safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, examined the potential for those delays to increase food safety risks.
The data generated are being used to develop a model that could be used by the U.S. pistachio industry to assess delays during harvest. A separate objective has generated thermal processing data that will assist the pistachio industry in meeting the new preventative controls rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, Harris said. Her work was guided by input from several of California's pistachio processors.