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Food Safety Microbiology and Food for Health

Young, Glenn
University of California - Davis
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The overall goal of the proposed project is to better investigate novel innovations for enhancing food safety that can be employed in within the agrobuisiness sector. Further, to use this knowledge to develop technologies to eliminate contamination and cross-contamination at critical points for horticulture products, such as during washing, conveying and handling.

As part of this overall goal, this research will focus on the following objectives.

  1. Measure the rate of transfer of microbes from wash water to fresh produce as a function of fluid forces in a simulated wash water environment with and without sanitizer.
  2. Characterize the rate of transfer of microbes from wash water to fresh produce as a function of mixing in a simulated wash tank environment.
  3. Investigate the potential for developing new probes to measure oxidative stress in microbes.
  4. Measure the impact of organic load on the correlation between oxidative stress and microbial death in simulated wash water environment.
More information
Foodborne illness sickens more than 70 million people per year in the United States (Meade et al. 1999). Food safety is important to everyone and is among California's and the U. S.'s top agricultural priorities (Ananymous, 2010). Food is by definition the product of agriculture consumed by humans. It is expected that food is to be safe of harmful microorganisms and contribute to the health of the individual. While U. S. citizens enjoy having an exceptionally safe and nutritious food supply there are occasions where food becomes contaminated with pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) that result in human infections. These infections, in severe cases, lead to unnecessary mortality. By completing fundamental and applied research there is a basis of scientific knowledge on which to rationally design methodologies, standards and technologies to continually improve food safety. Important to this proposal, food safety microbiology research includes agricultural practices, food processing, food affects on human health, foodborne infections and defining treatments for foodborne illness. By approaching food safety as a multifaceted challenge innovative improvements will be realized. Food safety microbiology research serves various California stakeholders throughout the safe food value chain, including farmers, food processors, food safety regulators and the general public.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Food Defense and Integrity