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Patricia Millner, Sara Reynolds, Xiangwu Nou, and Donald Krizek

least need to meet the thermophilic, time–temperature, and management standards described here. Raw manure, partially composted manure, or commercial food waste would not be suitable for CT production within the certified organic program. FOOD SAFETY

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Luis A. Ribera, Marco A. Palma, Mechel Paggi, Ronald Knutson, Joseph G. Masabni, and Juan Anciso

Foodborne illness is a major cause of enteric disease in the United States ( Doyle, 2000 ). Recent incidents of foodborne illness have led to questions regarding the safety of the U.S. food supply. This article delineates the existing food safety

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Dennis J. Osborne, Douglas C. Sanders, Donn R. Ward, and James W. Rushing

This project was sponsored by USDA-CSREES Project Number 00-51110-9722 of the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative. Any of its successes are due to the cooperative efforts of people representing each land grant institution food science and

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Brianna L. Ewing and Barbara A. Rasco

In the United States, both fresh and fermented apple juice may be called “apple cider,” but “cider” here refers to the alcoholic, fermented “hard” cider product. Food safety considerations regarding apple juice or “sweet cider,” the nonalcoholic

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Darrell E. Blackwelder, Douglas C. Sanders, Dennis Osborne, and Donn Ward

Food safety, including fresh produce food safety programming and GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) third-party audit considerations are impacting the ability of producers marketing their crops. These relatively new federal programs are voluntary, but major buyers and chain stores are beginning to require that growers and sellers demonstrate participation in the programs. Recently, there were no training programs or materials readily available to meet educational needs of Cooperative Extension clients. Local producers began to request information on participation, compliance, and the end results. In Rowan County, N.C., two different programs addressed information and training material limitations for local producers. In one training session, local farmer's market participants were introduced to risk management concepts that helped them meet the GAPs training requirements. In another program, local school personnel were introduced to new food safety concepts in a local training for Hispanic workers. Since translation capability is limited, we have partnered with Spanish speakers from a local bank and from a migrant worker education group. This networking was valuable to our cooperators, since they reached new clients, and to us in getting workers trained in food safety.

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Dennis J. Osborne, Douglas C. Sanders, Donn R. Ward, and James W. Rushing

This paper summarizes the management framework of a multi-state, multi-institutional partnership delivering a targeted train-the-trainer program. The program provided Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)-based training to southeastern U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable (produce) growers and packers. Twelve southern U.S. states cooperated in this project: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The 2000–04 work was funded by United States Department of Agriculture – Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA–CSREES) National Food Safety Initiative grants. This project developed materials, pilot tested them, refined them for use by a regional group of specialized agents, assisted the agents in delivering the new programming and evaluated the results.

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Dennis J. Osborne, Douglas C. Sanders, Donn R. Ward, and James W. Rushing

This paper summarizes the management framework of a multi-state, multi-institutional partnership delivering a targeted “train-the-trainer” program. Procedures associated with assuring on-schedule deliverables and budget compliance will be reviewed. The program provided Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)-based training to southeastern U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable (produce) growers and packers. Twelve southern U.S. states cooperated in this project: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The 2000–04 work was funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture–Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA–CSREES) National Food Safety Initiative grants. This project developed materials, pilot-tested them, refined them for use by a regional group of specialized agents, assisted the agents in delivering the new programming, and evaluated the results.

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Anusuya Rangarajan, Marvin P. Pritts, Stephen Reiners, and Laura H. Pedersen

Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with produce have prompted national attention on grower practices and produce handling. In 1998, we conducted a survey of New York fruit and vegetable growers to compare current management practices related to manure, compost and on-farm water quality with federal guidelines to reduce food safety risk. We were able to identify areas requiring additional educational effort, particularly for small farms. The respondents (213 total) represented 36% of the produce acreage in the state and many (54%) farmed less than 100 acres (40 ha). While most growers (60% to 95%) were able to identify meat and fruit as associated outbreaks, fewer (23% to 36%) identified outbreaks associated with vegetables. Of the 76 respondents (36% of total) who applied manure or compost, most (88%) used practices that would reduce food safety risks based on federal guidelines. However, only 52% of growers identified these practices as reducing food safety risk. Most growers used surface water for irrigation (76%), but few reported testing water quality. However, we do not have standards for surface water quality or cost-effective remediation strategies. Testing ground water for bacteria was more frequently reported by organic growers (P < 0.01). Growers commonly washed produce on farm (92%) but rarely added sanitizers to this water (16%). General food safety training should increase emphasis on past outbreaks associated with produce, manure management practices that reduce risks so that growers can more accurately report on-farm efforts and record keeping of manure and water management for traceback purposes. Small farms specifically required additional training in three key areas: record keeping of manure applications, composting processes to achieve pathogen kill, and sanitation of wash water. Organically certified farms were more frequently in compliance with federal food safety guidelines for manure and water quality management than conventional growers (P < 0.05), but required additional training in proper composting to kill pathogens. These results have been incorporated into our current food safety extension efforts, which focus on design of self-assessment tools for small farms, development of bilingual food safety training materials, and dissemination of food safety presentations and resources for extension and other agricultural agencies to use in training programs.

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James M. Monaghan

Recent European outbreaks of Salmonella thompson and S. newport have been associated with salad rocket (Eruca vesicaria ssp. sativa) and head lettuce (Lactuca sativa), respectively. These cases emphasize the need for good agricultural and manufacturing practices for fruit and vegetables that are to be consumed raw, and the potential for large outbreaks related to fresh produce that is distributed widely. In contrast to North America, legislation in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe has moved responsibility for fresh produce food safety away from government and into the supply chain. In the U.K. it is the retailers, notably Marks and Spencer with the Field to Fork codes of practice, who are driving the food safety agenda through the development of their own standards. It is retailer technologists who have been the main motivators and educators of suppliers to apply risk management to limiting or preventing microbial contamination of fresh produce.

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Dennis Osborne*, Douglas C. Sanders, and Donn R. Ward

This project directly addresses national food safety “priority issues”. Project design incorporates food safety and food chain security as focal points of educational efforts, then initiates practical, producer-level research, teaching, and extension whereby food handling and safety issues are addressed in a systems context. The overall Project goals are (1) to deliver information about Fresh Produce Food Safety (“FPFS”) programs and principles defined in the FDA Guide to fresh fruit and vegetable handlers in the Southeastern United States, (2) to provide hands-on individual state assistance with FPFS program implementation, and (3) to determine the influence of packing line procedures on the survival of foodborne pathogens. Part of the education envisioned under the new grant is introducing the concepts of recall and traceback. These concepts, proposed for incorporation into a new Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) act being discussed for adoption, possibly in 2006, essentially allows for the traceback of food to its point of origin. Osborne and others published a new protocol last month as “Model Recall Program for the Fresh Produce Industry” and want to help growers stay ahead of the curve on these issues. As a consequence of this project, the region's commercial fresh fruit and vegetable handlers will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to establish effective GAPs programs. Developing new GAPs programs to fit the specific needs of the packing and chain store operations in the Southeastern United States can significantly reduce the possibility of illness originating from Southeastern fresh fruit and vegetables. Delivering such programs will serve as a valuable training tool for fresh produce industries nationwide.