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Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain

Kevin Holvoet, Imca Sampers UGent, Liesbeth Jacxsens UGent and Mieke Uyttendaele UGent (2010) Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts. p.87-87
abstract
Introduction : Microbial food safety is a global concern. Particularly, fresh produce is increasingly involved in some outbreaks (Lynch et al. 2006). 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 (Beuchat, 1996). 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) (Jawahar et al., 2009). 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. Material & Methods : A Horticultural Assessment Scheme (HAS) was 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 (Jacxsens et al., 2009). 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 different analysed samples were obtained from two different fresh produce companies to test the HAS. The first company produced and processed the vegetables while the second company only processed them. Results : Preliminary results of the HAS showed the influence and importance of the water quality in the production of ready-to-eat leafy vegetables. Washing the vegetables with water of poor quality gave a contaminated end product. The lack of refreshing the water in the baths led to accumulation of different microorganisms in the water. Instead of cleaning the vegetables through the subsequent water baths, the vegetables became more contaminated which resulted in an end product of poor microbiological condition. Discussion : Irrigation or washing with water of poor quality increased the contamination of the produce and had a bad influence on the microbiological conditions of the leafy vegetables. 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. References Beuchat, L.R. 1996. Pathogenic microorganisms associated with fresh produce. J. Food Prot. 59:204-216. Jawahar, P., Ringler, C. 2009. Water quality and food safety: a review and discussion of risks. Water Policy 11: 680-695. Jacxsens, L., J. Kussaga, P.A. Luning, M. Van der Spiegel, F. Devlieghere, and M. Uyttendaele. 2009. A microbial assessment scheme to support microbial performance measurements of food safety management systems. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 134: 113-125. Lynch, M., Painter, J., Woodruff, R. & Braden, C. 2006. Surveillance for foodborne-disease outbreaks – United States, 1998-2002. MMWR – Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, 10: 1-34.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
published
subject
keyword
hazards, lettuce, fresh produce, leafy vegetables, food safety, water treatment, disinfection, microbiological, water, HAS
in
Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts
pages
87 - 87
publisher
Belgian Society of Food Microbiology
conference name
15th Conference on Food Microbiology
conference location
Ghent, Belgium
conference start
2010-09-16
conference end
2010-09-17
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C3
id
1043150
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1043150
date created
2010-09-16 21:07:05
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:35:36
@inproceedings{1043150,
  abstract     = {Introduction : Microbial food safety is a global concern. Particularly, fresh produce is increasingly involved in some outbreaks (Lynch et al. 2006). 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 (Beuchat, 1996). 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) (Jawahar et al., 2009). 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. 
Material \& Methods : A Horticultural Assessment Scheme (HAS) was 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 (Jacxsens et al., 2009). 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 different analysed samples were obtained from two different fresh produce companies to test the HAS. The first company produced and processed the vegetables while the second company only processed them.
Results : Preliminary results of the HAS showed the influence and importance of the water quality in the production of ready-to-eat leafy vegetables. Washing the vegetables with water of poor quality gave a contaminated end product. The lack of refreshing the water in the baths led to accumulation of different microorganisms in the water. Instead of cleaning the vegetables through the subsequent water baths, the vegetables became more contaminated which resulted in an end product of poor microbiological condition.
Discussion : Irrigation or washing with water of poor quality increased the contamination of the produce and had a bad influence on the microbiological conditions of the leafy vegetables. 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. 
References
Beuchat, L.R. 1996. Pathogenic microorganisms associated with fresh produce. J. Food Prot. 59:204-216.
Jawahar, P., Ringler, C. 2009. Water quality and food safety: a review and discussion of risks. Water Policy 11: 680-695.
Jacxsens, L., J. Kussaga, P.A. Luning, M. Van der Spiegel, F. Devlieghere, and M. Uyttendaele. 2009. A microbial assessment scheme to support microbial performance measurements of food safety management systems. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 134: 113-125.
Lynch, M., Painter, J., Woodruff, R. \& Braden, C. 2006. Surveillance for foodborne-disease outbreaks -- United States, 1998-2002. MMWR -- Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, 10: 1-34.},
  author       = {Holvoet, Kevin and Sampers, Imca and Jacxsens, Liesbeth and Uyttendaele, Mieke},
  booktitle    = {Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts},
  keyword      = {hazards,lettuce,fresh produce,leafy vegetables,food safety,water treatment,disinfection,microbiological,water,HAS},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {87--87},
  publisher    = {Belgian Society of Food Microbiology},
  title        = {Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Holvoet, Kevin, Imca Sampers, Liesbeth Jacxsens, and Mieke Uyttendaele. 2010. “Horticultural Assessment Scheme in the Fresh Produce Chain.” In Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts, 87–87. Belgian Society of Food Microbiology.
APA
Holvoet, Kevin, Sampers, I., Jacxsens, L., & Uyttendaele, M. (2010). Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain. Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts (pp. 87–87). Presented at the 15th Conference on Food Microbiology, Belgian Society of Food Microbiology.
Vancouver
1.
Holvoet K, Sampers I, Jacxsens L, Uyttendaele M. Horticultural assessment scheme in the fresh produce chain. Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts. Belgian Society of Food Microbiology; 2010. p. 87–87.
MLA
Holvoet, Kevin, Imca Sampers, Liesbeth Jacxsens, et al. “Horticultural Assessment Scheme in the Fresh Produce Chain.” Food Microbiology, 15th Conference, Abstracts. Belgian Society of Food Microbiology, 2010. 87–87. Print.