Source: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA submitted to
SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES AND COST-EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF PRODUCE SAFETY REGULATIONS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1023565
Grant No.
2020-51181-32157
Project No.
FLA-CRC-005984
Proposal No.
2020-02628
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
SCRI
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2020
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2024
Grant Year
2020
Project Director
Danyluk, M. D.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
G022 MCCARTY HALL
GAINESVILLE,FL 32611
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
Many studies have addressed specific aspects of pathogen contamination and control in produce production, but most have focused on a single step in the food chain or on a single pathogen in a single crop. An integrative framework applicable to different food-pathogen combinations is not currently available to support produce safety decisions. The need for a systematic validation of food safety metrics is articulated by white papers, metrics from commodity groups, and opinions expressed by food safety regulatory agencies. This project will focus on the following objectives to develop and implement decision-making tools to enhance produce safety:Find approaches to decrease introduction of microbial food safety hazards onto specialty crops from agricultural water.Discover new strategies to reduce introduction of microbial hazards into specialty crops via biological soil amendments of animal origin during production.Evaluate the risk of current on-farm preharvest and harvest practices for potential contamination of specialty crops with microbiological hazards.Determine the harborage, sources and patterns of contamination, and mitigation strategies for specialty crop contact surfaces in packinghouses to quantify risks.Create quantitative farm-to-fork risk assessment models of pathogens on produce.Develop models for the evaluation of economic costs and benefits associated with produce pathogen reduction strategies.Extend knowledge and awareness of the study outcomes through a translational bridging and leadership role.The project will be highly integrated, with stakeholder input guiding the goals, risk assessments, economic analyses, and extension activities, and provide an ongoing platform for stakeholder interaction.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
90%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
7122410110030%
7122410110115%
7122410116015%
7122410301015%
7122410110325%
Goals / Objectives
This proposal provides the specialty crop industry with tools to effectively manage risks while making most efficient use of available resources. Our approach will provide objective assessment of health, economic, and risk impacts of food safety systems. We will identify the most important factors that drive food safety risks by explicitly acknowledging and analyzing uncertainty. We will help the specialty crop industry 1) develop and validate scientifically supportable food safety metrics that are applicable in a variety of growing regions, commodities, and farm sizes; 2) provide scientific and technological knowledge to develop metrics important to enhancing produce food safety; and 3) identify improved approaches and techniques that allow the attainment of the metrics to be verified and cost effective. Achieving these goals are critical for specialty crops as produce-borne outbreaks and food recalls have caused serious public health problems and devastating economic impacts to individual businesses which extend across the produce industry.The key rationale behind this project is to provide a systems-based decision-support framework to evaluate measures for controlling pathogens on produce that will support an integrated view and decision-making roadmap for all vested parties.
Project Methods
This project will be carried out by a consortium of ten universities and one federal agency that have been selected in part for their geographical locations and expertise in specific specialty crops. The work is envisioned to include diverse farms and facilities of varying sizes, including consideration of both conventional and organic practices, and perennial and annual crops, grown close to and above the soil (including, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucurbits, berries, and tree fruit). The research team is capable of employing a full range of appropriate methods, from microbiological culture and non-culture based methods to molecular biology to highly sophisticated mathematical modeling methodologies. The philosophy underlying the research proposed in this project is to find practical and scalable solutions for real problems. The approaches employed will focus on translating research into practices that are feasible to implement within various pre-and postharvest sectors. Each of the research sub-project will be conducted in at least two locations and on at least two crops to ensure effective consideration of regional and seasonal differences. Careful attention will be paid to identifying and testing appropriate technologies and protocols for small-, medium-, and large-size farms and facilities. This includes addressing appropriate economic and regulatory feasibility assessments to adequately address the transdisciplinary nature of the problems. Frequent communication with our stakeholders is one of the key factors for success of this project.