Protecting Produce From Pathogens
Sunday, July 17; 8:30–10 a.m.
Locally grown produce enjoys a bright health halo, but to ensure that this halo maintains its luster, the produce must be pathogen-free. In session 8, experts will share research and news about extension activities and techniques for ensuring the microbial safety of locally grown produce. The session is titled “Improving Microbial Safety of Locally Grown Fresh Produce in Several U.S. States Through Research and Extension Approaches.”
Hanna (John) Khouryieh, an assistant professor of food processing and technology at Western Kentucky University, will discuss finding of surveys that examined how much farmers market participants in Kentucky knew about good agricultural practices and other issues important to food safety. Next, Cangliang Shen, assistant professor/extension specialist at West Virginia University, will discuss findings related to the microbial load on fresh produce in West Virginia farmers markets as well as sanitizing practices for fresh produce.
In another symposium presentation, Sujata Sirsat, an assistant professor at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, will describe a novel sanitizing station developed for leafy green vegetables as well as smartphone food safety applications for consumers and market managers. Finally, Yifan Zhang, an associate professor at Wayne State University, will share results from a study that examined the presence of foodborne pathogens, chemical contaminants, and heavy metals in soil and vegetable samples from Detroit urban gardens. Zhang will also describe outreach materials developed to promote safe and sustainable growing practices.
The presentations in this session are outcomes of projects funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.