Understanding the Gaps – downloadable literature review


The Fresh Produce Safety Centre coordinated a review of the contemporary literature surrounding microbial contamination of fresh produce, and the interaction of sanitisers and fungicides when used postharvest.

The resulting document was launched in Auckland on 5 November 2015 and in Sydney on 13 November 2015 and is now available here for download.

The review of five key food safety areas provides the fresh produce industries in Australia and New Zealand with:

  • Up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations on practices that lead to better food safety risk management in fresh produce industries; and
  • Identified gaps in our current knowledge, highlighting the priority questions for industry that need to be addressed through further research.

The five key areas under the literature review are:

  1. Sources of microbiological contamination: General production variables
  2. Sources of microbiological contamination: Agricultural water
  3. Sources of microbiological contamination: Organic inputs and composting
  4. Sources of microbiological contamination: The storage environment
  5. Interaction of fungicides and sanitisers

These five research priorities were identified by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre in consultation with industry.

Download PDF (5.4 MB)

Full Research Partners:

PNZ Logo - From Mike Butcher
“The New Zealand pome fruit sector is export focused. In this environment, food safety must be proven as much as phytosanitary status. The New Zealand pome fruit sector believes, because of its integrated systems and long experience of exporting over 70% of our crop to over 65 markets annually, that we have addressed as far as is humanly possible the concerns of our trading partners. The sector, however, wants to be recognised as a responsible global citizen, not only providing high quality, high-value apples and pears into the markets of the world but supplying fruit that is immediately recognised as being safe. With any system, there are always questions – “have we got all bases covered?”; “what more can be done that will make a noticeable difference?” By being a full sponsor to the ‘Understanding the Gaps‘ project our aim is to prove that we have “all bases covered”, and that in turn will allow us to continue to prove the quality and safety of our fruit to our customers and consumers.”

Alan Pollard – CEO, Pipfruit New Zealand

DPI FA logo
“Food safety associated with fresh produce is of growing significance at home and internationally. The NSW Food Authority supports the Fresh Produce Safety Centre research program which aims to provide revised food safety guidance and risk management solutions for both small farmers and major grower and packaging operations.”

Associate Research Partners:

“Golden State Foods, also the owner of Snap Fresh Foods, New Zealand, is committed to providing high quality, safe products to our customers both locally and internationally. By sponsoring this project, we hope to contribute to the fresh produce industry’s better understanding of managing microbial food safety risks.”

John Wafer – Managing Director, GSF Australasia

Fresh Select supplied by Carolyn
“Australians value local, quality and most importantly safe produce. As growers supplying Australian supermarkets, Fresh Select suppliers are committed to ensuring exactly that. Now more than ever the responsibility to manage food safety is paramount for every Australian farmer and the opportunity to understand how we can improve on best practice is one that has significant worth for our business. We feel strongly about the freshness, quality and sustainability of the brassicas and lettuces we grow; and now with the resources made available we can confidently demonstrate high food safety standards for Australians to depend on and trust.”

Further information

For further information, please contact us.