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More help putting food safety research into practice

Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer at Produce Marketing Association, presented both at the CPS annual meeting in June and its webinar July 17.

The leadership of the Center for Produce Safety BB #:339618 has said its challenge is to help the produce industry implement the research and recommendations it develops.

The group has formed its knowledge transfer task force to help inform the industry through columns and videos.

CPS held a webinar July 17, as a follow up to its June annual meeting.

Four scientific experts gave previews of some of the research that produce companies can use to improve food safety.

Hank Giclas, senior vice president at Western Growers, BB #:144734 previewed a program which uses landscape and weather information to predict the quality of surface water.

Trevor Suslow, vice president of food safety at the Produce Marketing Association, BB #:153708 said some growers are finding success using raptors, like falcons, to control wild birds’ and rodents’ intrusion in produce fields, and they’re using vegetation as buffer zones between produce fields and animal food production, which has caused some cross-contamination in the past.

Jennifer McEntire, vice president of food safety and technology at the United Fresh Produce Association, BB #:145458 said researchers are developing coatings for returnable plastic containers that are anti-microbial.

And Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer at PMA, said spray applications for stone fruit to control microbes are showing some success, while research is also showing effective ways to sanitize citrus packinghouses.

Of course, these were just overviews of some of the research projects. More in depth information can be found at CPS’s website.


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services