Wednesday, July 25, 2012: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Room 552 (Rhode Island Convention Center)
Organizers: Tong-Jen Fu , Robert Sanderson and Michelle Smith
Convenor: Tong-Jen FuSince 1996, contaminated sprouts have been linked to at least 30 outbreaks and over 2000 cases of illness in the U.S. Globally, the concern about consumption of raw sprouts has increased significantly after the 2011 outbreaks associated with contaminated fenugreek sprouts which resulted in more than 4000 illnesses and 50 deaths in Germany and France. Seed is often the source of contamination, but sprouts pose a particular concern as the conditions that promote germination of the seed also promote the growth of pathogens, if present. In 1999, FDA issued two guidance documents to industry recommending good practices that seed suppliers, distributors and sprout growers should undertake to address common risk factors in their operations. Although full implementation of the guidance is still a challenge, many members of the sprout industry have developed innovative approaches to minimize the risks associated with raw sprouts. This symposium will review the issues and challenges associated with sprout food safety from both an industry and a regulatory perspective. To ensure sprout safety, it is clear that collaboration among stakeholders across the “farm-to-table” continuum is critical. The symposium will also showcase a number of initiatives taken by the industry, government, and academia to help advance sprout food safety.
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