Research is aimed at improving understanding of potential produce safety hazards, risks and routes of contamination, and aid development of effective, science-based risk identification and characterization.
It is hoped the resulting increased knowledge and practical technologies may be integrated with strategies, concepts and design of preventive controls and food safety management tools throughout the supply chain.
Drew McDonald, VP, quality, food safety and regulatory affairs at Church Brothers, and chair for the CPS Technical Committee, said the research will have relevance to all points of the supply chain - farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers.
“The goal for CPS and our research partners is to help identify solutions and keep fresh produce safe for everyone. The broad range of the projects reflects the commitment of a cross section of public and private partners from the United States and around the world.”
Projects starting from next year include Michael Cahn, University of California Cooperative Extension, looking at ‘Microbial food safety risks of using tail water for leafy green production’ and Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriquez from North Carolina State University 'Establishing die-off rates of surrogate and virulent EHEC-STEC strains from strawberry and cilantro surfaces’.
Produce safety research objectives cut across fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, in production, packing, processing, cooling, storage, transportation, receiving and point-of-sale environments.
To date, CPS has funded 112 projects valued at over $18m, including 14 grants last year worth $2.8m.