Author: Brackett, R.E.
Description: The importance of bacterial pathogens in the transmission of foodborne illness has become apparent in recent years. Several large, well-publicized outbreaks of foodborne illness have been linked to cantaloupe, tomatoes, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, and both apple and orange juices. In addition, numerous other smaller scale outbreaks linked to these and other commodities have also been reported. Although contributing factors have not been determined in all cases, several notable causes have been proposed. In particular, cross contamination with fecal matter of both domestic as well as wild animals have been suggested. In addition, contact with contaminated water has also been identified as a source of contamination. However, the use of untreated manure or sewage, lack of field sanitation, poorly or unsanitized transportation vehicles, and contamination by handlers are also suggested as potential contributing factors. Control of foodborne pathogens in produce must begin before produce is even planted by avoiding fields which have been subjected to flooding, on which animals have been recently grazed, or have otherwise been contaminated with manure. After planting, only clean potable water should be used for irrigation and harvesting equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Both field workers and packinghouse and processing plant personnel should be instructed in proper personal hygiene and provided with adequate sanitary and handwashing facilities. Vehicles transporting finished products should be sanitized, properly loaded to provide adequate air circulation, and maintained at proper temperatures. Likewise, retail display cases must be kept clean and at proper refrigeration temperatures. Finally, consumers should be informed as to proper handling of produce, particularly in the case of new generation products such as modified atmosphere packaged produce.
Subject headings: Fresh produce; Food safety; Bacterial pathogens; Food poisoning; food contamination
Publication year: 1999
Journal or book title: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Find the full text : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925521498000969
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Type: Journal Article
Serial number: 1673