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A review of the published literature describing foodborne illness outbreaks associated with ready to eat fresh produce and an overview of current UK fresh produce farming practices.
Project Code: B17007;
- Hutchison, M. L., Avery, S. M. and Monaghan J. M. (2008). The air-borne distribution of zoonotic agents from livestock waste spreading and microbiological risk to fresh produce from contaminated irrigation sources. <em>Journal of Applied Microbiology</em> 105:848-857.
- Monaghan, J.M. & Hutchison, M.L., (2012) Distribution and decline of human pathogenic bacteria in soil after application in irrigation water and the potential for soil-splash-mediated dispersal onto fresh produce. Journal of Applied Microbiology 112(5), 1007-1019,doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05269.x
Harper Adams University College
Monaghan, J ;
Direct Laboratories Ltd
Hutchinson Scientific Ltd
In recent years there have been a number of high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks that have been traced back to fresh produce such as lettuce and sprouted seeds. In order to protect UK consumers, this project attempted to help the Agency assess the current controls, risks and hazards for the growing, processing and distribution of fresh produce.
A review of the scientific literature relating to foodborne illness outbreaks associated with ready-to-eat fresh produce was undertaken. In addition, copies of commonly-encountered assurance codes of practice for fresh produce growers were obtained from retailers and grower associations. The practices contained within these documents were reviewed from a food safety viewpoint against the stipulations of the Codex Alimentarius. A survey of growers was undertaken to assess compliance with these codes.
Although commonly-encountered assurance codes of practice for fresh produce growers provide sound guidance, industry has difficulties in applying some of the guidance in a practical setting. Consequently, it is recommended that the Agency investigate ways to help industry apply guidance. If implemented correctly, systems developed in this area could be used as performance indicators by the Agency to provide ongoing intelligence on consumer risk from fresh produce. In addition, ICT-based systems may allow the Agency to reduce the requirement for expensive surveys which it uses to periodically determine the microbiological status of fresh produce.
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