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Implementation of HACCP in fruit and Leafy Green Processing through an Integrated Intervention Approach

Investigators
Warriner, Keith
Institutions
University of Guelph
Start date
2014
End date
2017
Objective

  1. Determine the efficacy of hydroxyl ions introduced into the headspace of storage areas and transporters can reduce the microbiological loading on cantaloupes and leafy greens.
  2. Evaluate the efficacy of electrolyzed water or UV:hydrogen peroxide to prevent accumulation of contamination on contact surfaces (conveyor, shredder units) prior to the wash step.
  3. Assess the efficacy of an acidified chitosan based sanitizer to decrease microbial counts on fresh produce during washing and minimize cross-contamination events, in addition to coagulating soluble organics.
  4. Further develop a post-wash intervention method based on UV:hydrogen peroxide (Advanced Oxidative Process) to inactivate residual pathogens associated with produce.
  5. Validate and verify the integrated intervention approach to inactivate (i.e. reach the Food Safety Objective of 5 log cfu) model pathogens inoculated onto cantaloupes and leafy greens.

Deliverable: An integrated approach to enhance the microbiological safety of fresh produce.

More information

The objective of the proposed work is to enhance the microbiological safety of leafy greens through integrated intervention technologies that can be readily adapted to HACCP. The concept is to expose the produce to antimicrobial atmospheres during pre-process storage and transport. Decontamination technologies will be implemented on the line to reduce cross-contamination events. Although limited, it is accepted that contact of fresh produce with water occurs during transportation and removal of soils. Therefore, a novel sanitizer will be applied to reduce cross-contamination events and also precipitate solids from the wash tank. Finally, a post-wash decontamination step will be introduced based on using a combination of UV:hydrogen peroxide to inactivate residual pathogens. Each intervention step will be optimized and the overall effectiveness of the system will be verified for pathogen reduction and compared to current processing methods. The work will establish true CCP’s in leafy green processing to enhance microbiological safety.

Funding Source
Ontario Min. of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS2013-1847
Categories
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Preventive Food Safety Systems
Prevention and Control
Commodities
Produce