- Erickson, Marilyn; Cannon, Jennifer
- University of Georgia
- Start date
- End date
- Mandatory glove use when handling raw produce and the practice of
sanitizing gloves with bleach is common despite uncertainty that these practices improve the
safety of foods.
Here, the impacts of glove use (frequency of changing and glove composition) and sanitation (using bleach and a novel sanitizer developed at UGA) on cross-contamination of raw head lettuce by bacterial (E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella) and viral (norovirus) pathogens during harvest will be investigated. Since build-up (soil and lettuce residue) on gloves likely impacts transfer of pathogens to and from gloves, accumulation ofthese materials on gloves over time (0.5, 1,2 and 4 hr) will be quantified for volunteer harvesters wearing either rubber or nitrile gloves.
In the lab, natural accumulation will be mimicked on gloves and the likelihood of pathogen transfer to gloves and head lettuce will be investigated. Finally, a novel sanitizer will be evaluated for its efficacy in removing organic material accumulation and inactivating pathogens on gloves as compared to bleach.
This study will provide a scientific basis for making recommendations on glove use and sanitation during harvesting head lettuce and will contribute to improving the safety of fresh produce.
- Funding Source
- Center for Produce Safety
- Project source
- View this project
- Project number
- Bacterial Pathogens