October 3, 2018

Center for Produce Safety awards 13 new research projects

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) has decided to fund 13 new research awards valued at a little over $2.6 million. The awards are for research projects directed at answering critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices. Among this year’s topics – storage, sanitation, agricultural water, co-management and risk-based field sampling.

“Funding for the projects comes from a combination of contributions to CPS’ Campaign for Produce Safety and state block-grant funds,” said Dave Corsi, vice president of produce and floral at Wegmans Food Markets, and chair for the CPS board of directors.  “We recognize the responsibility CPS has to ensure these funds are managed prudently to provide scientific tools that support fresh produce food safety programs for our customers and industry.”

“Working together with apple growers from Washington State, Michigan and Pennsylvania, our team with almost 70 years of combined experience with Listeria and world-class expertise in apple physiology, is excited to be able to contribute to the goals of CPS,” said Elliot Ryser with Michigan State University.

He said the two-year project will provide answers to many important questions, including:

  1. How long do outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes persist on apples during air and controlled atmosphere storage
  2. Do different Listeria strains have different capabilities for surviving on apples
  3. Does apple waxing increase or decrease Listeria survival
  4. Does Listeria survival on apples differ according to apple variety, growing region, and growing season
  5. Does Listeria survival on apples differ between planktonic cells versus biofilm-derived cells?

The awards were made possible by funds provided by the Center for Produce Safety’s Campaign Contributors, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Texas Department of Agriculture.”