Food Safety in the Field and Post Harvest

Farmers See Food Safety As Critical

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

There was a recent panel discussion at the Safe Food of California Convention on how to keep food safe in the field and post-harvest. Tom Jones, senior director of analytic services with the Safe Food Alliance, stated that microbial food safety is being looked at to see what the key factors are.

The morning session was focused on getting the essential points of microbial food safety, such as what to worry about, key parameters to minimize the chance of contamination, and chemical contaminants.

“California agriculture is involved in growing crops for around the world, and so there are other concerns that we have to think about, such as pesticides or mycotoxins, where regulations might be different in different countries,” Jones said.

The Safe Food Alliance has to think about what products the consumer, customers, and buyers are looking for.

Innovative ideas like Blockchain are being used to keep food safe by tracking information.

“There are alternative treatments to traditional thermal processes that maintain the freshness of the food and its nutritional quantity, but [are] also able to destroy the pathogens,” Jones said.

Experts in Sacramento are advocating for food safety every day. They also advocate for agriculture and the challenges faced both domestically and internationally.

“We talked about everything from the challenges of Immigration and Labor to proposition 65 toxins regulations, the current trade disputes internationally, and how those are impacting California agriculture,” Jones said.


Fluctuating Temperatures Increase E. Coli, Listeria Risk in Leafy Greens


Source:  Food Safety News

A new study has found that fluctuations in temperature during transportation and retail sale of leafy greens negatively impacts both the product’s quality and microbial safety.


Bagged Salad (Source: Food Safety News)
Bagged Salad (Source: Food Safety News)

In a study published in the February issue of Journal of Food Protection, researchers looked at the growth of E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in commercially bagged salad greens.


Over a 16-month period, a series of time-temperature profiles from thousands of bagged salads were obtained from five transportation routes covering four geographic regions, as well as during retail storage and display.


“Based on the simulation, both pathogens generally increased [<2 log CFU/g] during transport, storage, and display,” the authors wrote. “However, retail storage duration can significantly impact pathogen growth.”


They added that this was the first large-scale study in the U.S. to use commercial time-temperature profiles to assess the microbial risk of leafy greens and that it “should be useful in filling some of the data gaps in current risk assessments for leafy greens.”