<UL> <LI> To assess and identify the level microbial contamination present on pumpkin and sesame seeds.</LI>
<LI> To conduct a systemic evaluation of the hazards and probabilities associated with pathogens on the farm and at post-harvest stages.</LI>
<LI> To identify and recommend methods for controlling identified microbial hazards present at pre-harvest and post-harvest stages.</LI>
<LI> To recommend future research needs regarding the safety of dried fruits, nuts and seeds at source. </LI> </ul>
There is limited published information on the assessment of the microbial risk associated with a variety of products. Determining the exact source of contamination of produce is important when devising strategies and interventions to minimise risk of microbial contamination in imported foods. <P>
Little is known about the conditions that exist overseas. A full appraisal of three facilities in overseas supplier countries of seeds will be conducted to assess and determine the conditions present during pre-harvest and post-harvest. A thorough assessment of potential contamination source will be identified for each production stage.<P>
HACCP plans to mitigate the microbial contamination at stages have been identified that will be developed in order to mitigate the microbial hazards.<P>
Results generated from this research will contribute to standardisation and formulation of related policies within the seeds trade.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.