Enhancing Food Safety In The Fresh Produce Sector

(Webinar length:  1 hr 38 min)

Overview:

There continues to be foodborne illness outbreaks linked to fresh produce such as bagged salads and pre-prepared fruit. In 2013 alone there have been at least three significant outbreaks and several product recalls linked to contaminated fresh produce.  There have been various strategies to enhance the safety standards in the fresh produce sector. In Europe, the philosophy has been to focus on HACCP-based systems at the farm level while in North America a testing/inspection based approach is favored, in addition to post-harvest intervention strategies. 

The following webinar will provide a detailed overview of the challenges and limitations of current food safety initiatives in the fresh produce sector. Sources of contamination from the field to the consumer will be described along with case studies of high profile outbreaks.  The on-farm food safety initiatives will be compared and contrasted. The efficacy of post-harvest intervention strategies will also be reviewed with focus on alternatives to the washing process.  The prospect of introducing an effective HACCP plan within the fresh produce sector will be discussed. 

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • Pathogens of relevance and sources of contamination
  • High profile outbreaks linked to fresh produce contaminated at the farm, during  processing, catering facilities or at the consumer end 
  • Comparison between Europe and the US approach to enhance food safety in the fresh produce sector 
  • Overview of unit operations within fresh produce processing
  • Performance (decontamination efficacy) of commercial post-harvest washing processes and attempts to identify operational parameters to predict log count reductions achieved 
  • Cross-contamination events that occur during the post-harvest washing process
  • Alternative sanitizers to enhance the post-harvest wash process in fresh produce processing 
  • Alternatives to post-harvest washing to reduce pathogen loading on fresh produce
  • Challenges and future directions in fresh produce processing   

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • Fresh produce processors
  • Growers
  • Government policy makers and inspection services
  • QA and QC managers
  • HACCP coordinators
  • Academics 

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 #: 1204dProduce
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