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Working Group 8: Safety of fresh produce

WG Leader: Andreas Höhl, BOKU, Austria

Members: Christine Jewan, TTZ, Germany; Hanna-Leena Alakomi, VTT, Finland; Lars Axelsson, NOFIMA, Norway; Dariusz Jedrejek, IUNG, Poland; Miles Thomas, FERA, UK.

Research topic for the future:

Title of the topic: “Control points and strategies to control and reduce bacteriological contamination during primary production of fresh produce”;

The proposed project is anticipated to evaluate the current situation regarding the main bacterial contaminants in fresh produce. Major (emerging) pathogens and their sources, routes of transmission and points of entry shall be evaluated. This information should be completed by with data about pathogen survival on the field or plant and with data about plant-pathogen interactions. In parallel to the literature search, a screening tool (questionnaire) should be developed and circulated among relevant stakeholders in order to collect information on farming methods, irrigation systems, harvesting methods and associated risks. Based on the literature review and the stakeholder survey the project aims at the development of proper tools to decrease the risk of bacteriological contamination in fresh produce.

The Group plans the following publication:

Title: Biological and environmental contaminants in fresh produce

Authors: Group members; Fresh fruit and vegetables are a source of numerous nutrients and are generally regarded as essential components of a healthy diet. However, due to changing consumption, production and trading patterns the whole issues of food becomes more and more important. WG 8 report identifies most important biological and environmental contaminants. Type and sources are discussed in details for both, environmental and biological contaminants. This data is complemented by a list of recent outbreaks related to fresh produce and with RASFF notification numbers. The report further discusses containment and eradication strategies. An overview on well-established and also new, innovative containment and eradication strategies are presented for the pre-harvest and the post-harvest level. Based on this data the report finally discusses gaps, actual research needs and draws up recommendations that might reduce the risks related to biological and environmental contaminants in fresh produce.

Book chapter:

Title: Biocontrol of Listeria monocytogenes in fresh produce. Authors: Kieran Jordan, Aidan Casey, Andreas Hoehl, Geert Bruggerman; Book title: Safety of Fresh Produce, Edited by Jeffrey Hoorfar, published by Woodhead Publishing 2013.