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Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain

Kevin Holvoet (UGent) , Imca Sampers (UGent) , Liesbeth Jacxsens (UGent) and Mieke Uyttendaele (UGent)
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Abstract
Microbial food safety is a global concern. Particularly, fresh produce is increasingly involved in some outbreaks. Fresh produce is consumed unprocessed or minimally processed. The produce may be intact, such as strawberries, carrots, or cut during harvesting, such as celery and broccoli. The leafy vegetables (e.g. lettuce) are generally assumed to be the greatest concern in terms of microbiological hazards. At each stage of the supply chain, there can be either natural, human or environmental factors that influence the degree of contamination on the produce. Water is extensively used in the fresh produce chain. Many food borne illnesses are related with poor water quality during primary production (e.g. irrigation) and postharvest processing (e.g. washing, chilling). The source and contamination level of the used water is an important issue that influences the degree of contamination at all stages in the chain. A Horticultural Assessment Scheme (HAS) is developed to assess the level of microbiological quality of leafy vegetables during the production and postharvest processing. HAS is a procedure that defines the identification of critical sampling locations, the selection of microbiological parameters, the assessment of sampling frequency, the selection of sampling method and method of analysis, and finally data processing and interpretation. Microbial measurement of the most important microbiological hazards on the used water or on the product gives information about the microbiological performance of the whole fresh produce chain. The HAS shows the influence and importance of the water quality on the microbiological conditions of the leafy vegetables. Irrigation or washing with water of poor quality increases the contamination of the produce. The lack of fresh water in combination with the declining water quality and water levels stresses the importance of a water treatment technique and a manner to recycle the water. Disinfection of the recycled wash water is necessary to avoid an accumulation of the microbial contamination on the product. This emphasizes that disinfection of the water between the source and the mode of action is essential to deliver a microbial safe product.
Keywords
microbial, food safety, horticultural assessment scheme, water, Fresh produce

Citation

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Chicago
Holvoet, Kevin, Imca Sampers, Liesbeth Jacxsens, and Mieke Uyttendaele. 2010. “Horticultural Assessment Scheme in the Fresh Produce Chain.” In Food Micro, Abstracts, 58–58.
APA
Holvoet, Kevin, Sampers, I., Jacxsens, L., & Uyttendaele, M. (2010). Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain. Food Micro, Abstracts (pp. 58–58). Presented at the 22nd International ICFMH Symposium (Food Micro 2010) : Microbial behavior in the food chain.
Vancouver
1.
Holvoet K, Sampers I, Jacxsens L, Uyttendaele M. Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain. Food Micro, Abstracts. 2010. p. 58–58.
MLA
Holvoet, Kevin, Imca Sampers, Liesbeth Jacxsens, et al. “Horticultural Assessment Scheme in the Fresh Produce Chain.” Food Micro, Abstracts. 2010. 58–58. Print.
@inproceedings{1036875,
  abstract     = {Microbial food safety is a global concern. Particularly, fresh produce is increasingly involved in some outbreaks. Fresh produce is consumed unprocessed or minimally processed. The produce may be intact, such as strawberries, carrots, or cut during harvesting, such as celery and broccoli. The leafy vegetables (e.g. lettuce) are generally assumed to be the greatest concern in terms of microbiological hazards. 
At each stage of the supply chain, there can be either natural, human or environmental factors that influence the degree of contamination on the produce. Water is extensively used in the fresh produce chain. Many food borne illnesses are related with poor water quality during primary production (e.g. irrigation) and postharvest processing (e.g. washing, chilling). The source and contamination level of the used water is an important issue that influences the degree of contamination at all stages in the chain. 
A Horticultural Assessment Scheme (HAS) is developed to assess the level of microbiological quality of leafy vegetables during the production and postharvest processing. HAS is a procedure that defines the identification of critical sampling locations, the selection of microbiological parameters, the assessment of sampling frequency, the selection of sampling method and method of analysis, and finally data processing and interpretation. Microbial measurement of the most important microbiological hazards on the used water or on the product gives information about the microbiological performance of the whole fresh produce chain. 
The HAS shows the influence and importance of the water quality on the microbiological conditions of the leafy vegetables. Irrigation or washing with water of poor quality increases the contamination of the produce. The lack of fresh water in combination with the declining water quality and water levels stresses the importance of a water treatment technique and a manner to recycle the water. Disinfection of the recycled wash water is necessary to avoid an accumulation of the microbial contamination on the product. This emphasizes that disinfection of the water between the source and the mode of action is essential to deliver a microbial safe product.},
  author       = {Holvoet, Kevin and Sampers, Imca and Jacxsens, Liesbeth and Uyttendaele, Mieke},
  booktitle    = {Food Micro, Abstracts},
  keyword      = {microbial,food safety,horticultural assessment scheme,water,Fresh produce},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Copenhagen, Denmark},
  pages        = {58--58},
  title        = {Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain},
  year         = {2010},
}