<OL> <LI> Develop more effective technologies for decontamination of fresh fruits and vegetables containing human pathogens by elucidating factors limiting efficacy of conventional produce washing methods and equipment and developing new cleaning and anti-microbial agents and new decontamination treat- ments based on the hurdle principle. <LI> Design, fabricate, and evaluate novel decontamination equipment in a BL-2 pilot plant. <LI> Transfer effective decontamination technology to the produce packing and processing industries.
Field studies will identify sources of microbial contamination and elucidate factors limiting efficacy of decontamination treatments. Novel interventions such as use of synergistic combinations of chemical and physical anti-microbial treatments will be investigated to identify the most promising approaches.Prototype decontamination equipment, based on laboratory findings, will be designed, built, and evaluated with inoculated produce in a BL-2 pilot plant. Field testing of new technology in commercial settings will be carried out to assure technical and economic feasibility. Technology transfer activities will include dissemination of technical information regarding effective decontamination technologies and data for development of HACCP plans and quantitative risk assessment.