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University of California
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Center for Produce Safety awards $2.8 million

The Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis announced 17 awards to researchers around the country for projects designed to mitigate food safety risks associated with growing and harvesting fresh produce, according to a press release issued by the organization.

CPS executive director Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli announced the awards yesterday at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s annual convention in Naples, Fla. News of the $2.8 million disbursement was picked up by The Packer.

Six of the 17 projects are led by UC scientists. They are:

  • Amphibians and reptiles as potential reservoirs of foodborne pathogens and risk reduction to protect fresh produce. Michele Jay-Russell, UC Davis. $142,523

  • E. coli survival on contaminated crop residue. Steven Koike, UC Cooperative Extension. $118,000

  • Pre-harvest environment influence on salmonella and its impact on increased survival capability. Linda Harris, UC Davis. $96,935

  • Developing buffer zone distances between sheep grazing operations and vegetable crops to maximize food safety risks. Bruce Hoar, UC Davis. $83,000

  • Risk assessment of salmonella preharvest internalization due to irrigation water quality standards for melons and cucurbits. Trevor Suslow, UC Davis. $48,747

  • Imaging to evaluate potential infusion of pathogens during vacuum cooling of lettuce leaves and real-time dynamics of microbes on leaf tissues as a function of moisture content. Nitin Nitin, UC Davis. $45,008

CPS was established at UC Davis by a public and private partnership. It funds original research, maintains an online database of global produce safety research and is developing industry training and outreach programs.

"We are pleased with both the quality and the scope of the selected projects," said Bob Whitiker, chair of the CPS technical committee. "These projects go to the heart of the critical food safety questions faced daily by growers and processors in our industry, and will provide them with real-world risk management tools."

Research funding aims to minimize the risk of produce contamination.
Research funding aims to minimize the risk of produce contamination.

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 6:43 AM

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