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Informed Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Viral Contamination of Fresh Produce During Harvest and Post-Harvest on Farms

Investigators
Leon, Juan
Institutions
Emory University
Start date
2015
End date
2018
Objective

Goal. To evaluate the potential for viral (NoV and HAV) contamination on fresh produce in the harvest and post-harvest environment and evaluate the impact of food safety practices.

Specific objectives.

Quantify the magnitude and relationships between viral (NoV and HAV) contamination on at risk produce (cantaloupe, tomatoes, jalapeños) and matched environmental samples (hands, water, soil) on farms.Assess whether viral contamination can be modeled by common bacterial (Enterococcus, E. coli, coliforms) and viral (coliphages) indicators on at risk produce and environmental samples.

Develop Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) models of viral contamination on produce using novel data (Objectives 1&2) and publically available data.

Evaluate the effectiveness of common food safety practices to reduce viral contamination risks to fresh produce in the harvest and post-harvest environment based on QMRA models (Objective 3).

More information

Please see grant proposal for details.

In brief:

Objective 1:Adapt the conventional RT-PCR and microarray method to detect HAV.Compare the sensitivity and specificity of NoV and HAV detection between the conventional RT-PCR and microarray on RNA from eluted, concentrated, and extracted produce and environmental rinse samples.Quantify the percentage of NoV and HAV positive produce and environmental rinse samples by assaying all produce and environmental samples with most sensitive and specific method determined above to detect NoV and HAV.Quantify the relationship between viruses on produce and environmental samples.

Objective 2:Model the relationship between viral contamination on either produce and environmental samples and bacterial and viral indicator.

Objective 3:Using the QMRA framework described (Introduction):Hazard identification.Dose-response of NoV and HAV.Exposure assessment.Risk characterization.

Objective 4:Using the QMRA framework described (Introduction):Prioritize food safety practices and interventions to model.Model selected food safety practices and interventions.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
GEOW-2014-05698
Accession number
1005379
Categories
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Escherichia coli
Microbiological Standards and Guidelines
Commodities
Produce