CPS awards 14 grants for food safety research

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Center for Produce Safety Awards $2.8M to 14 projects
Center for Produce Safety Awards $2.8M to 14 projects
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) has awarded 14 grants worth $2.8m directed at food safety practices for the sector.

They will answer questions for fruit, vegetable and tree nut production; pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest handling; and co-management of food safety and the environment.

CPS, based at the University of California, Davis, said the objective is to provide the produce industry with practical, translatable research data that can be used throughout the supply chain.

All parts of supply chain

Stephen Patricio, chairman for the CPS Board of Directors, said it was ‘encouraged’ and ‘excited’ about the funded research projects.

“The research being conducted at CPS is relevant to all points of the supply chain – farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers. The goal for CPS, and our contributing Partners in Research, is to keep fresh produce safe for everyone.”

The CPS Technical Committee reviewed 48 proposals this year, opposed to the 55 proposals, 16 grants totalling $3m that was awarded last year.

The committee is an advisory group that includes experts from industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations.

Projects will begin in January 2015 with project completion ranging from the end of 2015 to the end of 2016.

Project examples

Vincent Hill, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will receive $298,462 for the project “Improved sampling and analytical methods for testing agricultural water for pathogens, surrogates and source tracking indicators”.

Ultrafiltration will be used to collect large-volume irrigation water samples from three farms in Georgia to investigate the benefits of collecting such samples for microbial water quality testing

Trevor Suslow at the University of California, Davis will receive $334,252 to look at “Evaluation of an alternative irrigation water quality indicator​”.

The objective is to develop an initial baseline of comparative data for indicator E. coli​, Total Bacteroides​, in surface water sources to the presence of human pathogenic E. coli ​and Salmonella ​in water used for irrigation management, ag‐chemical sprays, and other preharvest applications.

Jim Gorney, vice president, Food Safety & Technology, Produce Marketing Association and chair of the CPS Technical Committee, said CPS and its technical committee and partners in research have ‘moved the ball forward’ on produce food safety.

“It has selected and funded an outstanding slate of produce safety research that will be impactful and valuable for the entire produce supply chain.”​ 

CPS has funded 100 projects valued at $16.4m, which were made possible by funds from partners and contributors to the CPS Campaign for Research.

Contributing partners are: California Department of Food and Agriculture, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, California Leafy Greens Research Program, California Melon Research Board, California Pistachio Research Program, National Mango Board, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the CPS Campaign for Research.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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