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Pathogen Transfer Risks Associated with Specific Tomato Harvest and Packing Operations

Investigators
Schneider, Keith; Danyluk, Michelle
Institutions
University of Florida
Start date
2011
End date
2012
Objective
The establishment standards related to removal of dirt and debris from tomato fruits during field pack operations and re-use of tomato cartons in re-pack operations within the Tomato Good Agricultural Practices and Best Management Practices document is essential for the responsible harvesting, handling and packing of fresh tomatoes.

Understanding risks potential transfer of pathogens onto tomatoes from used tomato cartons or cloths used to remove debris is a fundamental management prerequisite to providing customers with safe tomatoes. There is inadequate science-based data to base current standards and audit inspection criteria for re-use of tomato cartons and removal of dirt and debris from tomatoes.

The purpose of this research project is to define risks associated with dirt and debris removal in the field and re-use of tomato cartons in re-pack operations.

The research outcomes will allow for the assignment of research-based metrics for in field debris removal and re use of tomato cartons for the fresh tomato industry.

Funding Source
Center for Produce Safety
Project source
View this project
Project number
2011-131
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Produce