S29 Assessing the Safety of Water Used in the Production of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce

Wednesday, July 31, 2013: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM
Ballroom A (Charlotte Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Mieke Uyttendaele
Organizers: Pratima Jasti and Mieke Uyttendaele
Convenor: Mieke Uyttendaele
Accessibility to abundant sources of high quality water is integral to the production of safe and wholesome fresh produce. This is becoming increasingly difficult in many parts of the world, increasing the risk of setting to the market products contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, viruses or parasites. The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)-Europe Emerging Microbiological Issues Task Force in collaboration with EU FP7 Veg-i-Trade initiated a study to assess the scientific evidence regarding the safety of water used in the production of fresh and minimally processed produce. An international group of experts identified the microbial food safety concerns of significance to fresh produce in different regions of the world. As such, they explored the relationship and interaction between water microbiology and food microbiology. Issues discussed in the ILSI report and within the EU FP7 Veg-i-Trade project include the impact of crop production and irrigation practices on the safety of fresh produce, including microbial ecology; the variation in microbial standards and recommendations for ‘clean’ water to be used in fresh produce production; issues associated with the use of alternative sources of water (including wastewater) in fresh produce production. Specific practices (risk factors) impacting the microbial quality of water used were identified and when possible, best practice guidelines were provided. Within the framework of quantitative microbial risk assessment, the experts also identified data gaps and needs for further risk-based efforts related to managing the safety of water used in fresh produce production. The white paper produced by this effort will be used for capacity-building and training at all stages of the supply chain and in all areas of the world. It will also provide guidance to critical national and international organizations whose mission is to improve human health by assuring adequate and equitable access to clean and abundant food and water.


8:30 AM
Fresh Produce and Microbial Safety Concerns in the Global World
Mieke Uyttendaele, Ghent University
9:00 AM
Dealing with Microbial Hazards Transmitted to Fresh Produce via Water: The South African Perspective
Lise Korsten, University of Pretoria
9:30 AM
Microbial Status of Irrigation Water and Risk Factors for Transmission of Pathogens to Leafy Greens in EU
Ana Allende, CEBAS-CSIC
10:00 AM
10:30 AM
Microbial Quality of Waters and Alternatives to Chlorine for Sanitation Used in Postharvest Processes
11:00 AM
Microbial Risk Assessment of Water Used in Fresh Produce Production & Processing
Liesbeth Jacxsens, Ghent University
11:30 AM
Short Round-up on Data Gaps and Concluding Discussion Session on Assessing the Safety of Water Used in the Fresh Produce Production
Mieke Uyttendaele, Ghent University
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