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Pathogen Transfer Risks Associated with Specific Tomato Harvest and Packing Operations


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. <P> 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. <P> 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. <P>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.

Schneider, Keith; Danyluk, Michelle
University of Florida
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