Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Room 10-11 (Tampa Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Christopher Baker
Organizer: Christopher Baker
Convenors: Alan Gutierrez and Zeynal TopalcengizThe environmental factors that may explain why certain pathogens are found in certain fresh produce in the United States and Europe continue to be investigated. There are many unknown factors that influence why certain pathogens are associated with fruits and vegetables in certain environments. This session will include perspectives from an expert with experience in fresh produce outbreak investigations and discussions on how agencies determine the source of pathogens during fresh produce outbreaks. The importance of source tracing during fresh produce outbreak investigations will be highlighted. Foodborne outbreak surveillance systems and data are limited in many regions throughout the global produce chain. The most recent global fresh produce-pathogen pair data (with an emphasis on the U.S. and Europe) will be presented to highlight the extent of the problem with certain pathogens and fresh produce commodities. A fresh produce and environmental microbiology expert will present current research on the main factors affecting the bacterial community of fresh produce and the potential consequences on produce safety. The role of phyllosphere-associated bacteria of fresh produce and how microbial population dynamics affect the prevalence of pathogens on fresh produce will be highlighted. Lastly, presenters will discuss future research strategies to reduce the burden of foodborne illness due to fresh produce. With the many risks associated with fresh produce, a discussion of the major factors that influence produce-pathogen pairs in different production chains, environments, and systems in the U.S. and Europe is warranted.
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