The Changing Face Of The Sprouted Seed Industry

(Webinar length:  1h 37m)


The following webinar will provide an overview of sprouted seeds in terms of types available, production process and noteworthy foodborne illness outbreaks.  The effect of regulations on the future of the sprouted seed industry will be discussed as these regulations within the US are currently open to public comments under FSMA.  The sources of contamination and intervention strategies will also be covered.  Guidelines published by different agencies to enhance the microbiological safety of sprouted seeds will be described. The different approaches taken by agencies to introduce regulations to seed suppliers and sprout producers will also be outlined.

Sprouted seeds have been identified as a high risk product due to on-going food safety issues and major foodborne illness outbreaks such as that experienced in Germany in 2011. The landmark outbreak occurred in Japan in 1996 where over 12000 became ill from consuming radish sprouts contaminated with E coli O157:H7. NACMCF published recommendations to sprout growers to improve food safety standards within the industry. The adoption of the guide was low and prompted the FDA to issue four letters over a decade urging the industry to tackle the food safety issues linked to sprouted seeds. It was not until the E coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany 2011 that prompted both government and industry to consider implementing regulations- a move that has been resisted over the last decade. To this end, regulations directly related to sprouted seeds have been introduced in Europe and parts of Australia.  

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • Description of the sprouted seed market
  • Foodborne illness outbreaks linked to sprouted seeds
  • Sources of contamination in seed and sprout production
  • Interventions and pathogen screening options in sprouted seed production
  • Recommendation guides published by different food safety agencies
  • Regulations introduced in Europe and Australia to increase the food safety status of sprouted seeds
  • Proposed regulations directed towards the US sprout producers
  • Conclusions and future directions         

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • Sprouted seed producers
  • Seed suppliers
  • QA and QC Managers
  • Production Managers
  • Laboratory Managers
  • Corporate and Plant Microbiologists
  • Operations Supervisors and managers
  • Sanitation Managers
  • Government food inspectors 

Presenter - Dr. Keith Warriner

Dr. Keith Warriner is currently an Associate Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph, Canada. Dr.Warriner received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. He later went on to work on biosensors within the University of Manchester, UK and subsequently returned to the University of Nottingham to become a Research Fellow in Food Microbiology. He joined the Faculty of the University of Guelph in 2002.

During the last fifteen years in the field of microbiology and food safety research, Dr. Warriner has published more than 100 papers, book chapters, patents, and conference abstracts. He has broad research areas encompassing development of decontamination technologies, biosensors for biohazard detection, and more fundamental research on the interaction of human pathogens with plants. One notable research accomplishment was the development of a decontamination treatment for sanitizing seeds destined for sprout production and a further process based on Advanced Oxidation Process for inactivating pathogens on fresh produce. Current research in the area is focused on developing biocontrol strategies based on using a combination of antagonistic bacteria and bacteriophage to reduce levels of human pathogens at the primary production stage.




  • Item #: 0605dSprout
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Price $289.00