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Characterization and mitigation of bacteriological risks associated with packing fresh-market citrus


After harvest, fresh oranges and lemons are sorted, washed and packed for further distribution and sale in packinghouses. Because green and blue molds result in significant losses of citrus fruit during storage and shipping, fungicides are often applied to during packing. Recirculating drench applications are common because they significantly increase fungicide efficacy but they also provide an opportunity for cross contamination or movement of microorganisms throughout the facility which can be a food safety issue if not appropriately managed. The overall goal of this project is to provide data that the California fresh citrus packinghouse industry can use to support the controls that reduce or eliminate foodborne pathogen cross contamination where citrus fruits are comingled or where recirculating materials come into contact with the fruit. A laboratory component is included to determine for the most common fungicides, minimum compatible sanitizer concentrations that are effective in eliminating Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. The laboratory data will be verified in a pilot scale citrus packing facility and the results of these studies will be used to prepare documents the industry can use to support the efficacy of their food safety practices.

Harris, Linda
University of California - Davis
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