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  • Author or Editor: Robert B. Gravani x
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The 1998 Fresh Trends Survey, conducted by “The Packer,” indicated that about 60% of consumers are more concerned today, than 1 year ago, about Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and other bacteria on fresh produce. Since 1987, the number of produce-associated outbreaks has doubled, affecting twice as many people, and involving a variety of fruits and vegetables. Three quarters of these outbreaks (75%) were associated with domestically grown produce. In recent months, as several large grocery chains have informed their produce suppliers that growers must have a certified plan for the farm that focuses on reducing risks for microbial contamination, to continue supplying fruits and vegetables. These actions have caused extreme concern among fruit and vegetable producers. A comprehensive educational curriculum has been developed for growers and shippers focused on recommended “Good Agricultural Practices.” This effort is the result of an extensive collaborative project, involving researchers, extension educators, and grower organizations nationwide. The curriculum sections include the history of foodborne illness associated with produce, the basic principles of food microbiology, recommended good agricultural practices to reduce risks of contamination due to irrigation water, wild and domestic animals, manure, and farm workers hygiene, resources for training employees, farm assessment worksheets, and other information resources. These educational materials and visuals will be made available on CD-ROM in the near future.

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