2016 Food Safety Expert
Authored Articles

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2017 Food Safety Authored Articles

Food Safety Authored Articles

Validating The Effectiveness Of Wash Water To Prevent Microbial Cross-Contamination Of Fresh-Cut Leafy Vegetables

Authors: D. Gombas; Y. Luo; J. Brennan; G. Shergill; R. Petran (Ecolab); R. Walsh (Ecolab); H. Hau (Ecolab); K. Kurana; B. Zomorodi; J. Rosen; R. Varley; K. Deng

Publication: Journal of Food Protection. 80(2): 312-330

Abstract: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires food processors to implement and validate processes that will result in significantly minimizing or preventing the occurrence of hazards that are reasonably foreseeable in food production. During production of fresh-cut leafy vegetables, microbial contamination that may be present on the product can spread throughout the production batch when the product is washed, thus increasing the risk of illnesses. The use of antimicrobials in the wash water is a critical step in preventing such water-mediated cross-contamination; however, many factors can affect antimicrobial efficacy in the production of fresh-cut leafy vegetables, and the procedures for validating this key preventive control have not been articulated. Producers may consider three options for validating antimicrobial washing as a preventive control for crosscontamination. Option 1 involves the use of a surrogate for the microbial hazard and the demonstration that cross contamination is prevented by the antimicrobial wash. Option 2 involves the use of antimicrobial sensors and the demonstration that a critical antimicrobial level is maintained during worst-case operating conditions. Option 3 validates the placement of the sensors in the processing equipment with the demonstration that a critical antimicrobial level is maintained at all locations, regardless of operating conditions. These validation options developed for fresh-cut leafy vegetables may serve as examples for validating processes that prevent cross-contamination during washing of other fresh produce commodities.

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Fruit and Vegetable Washing in Food Retail Environments

Authors: Anna Starobin; Sally Foong-Cunningham

Publication: Food Protection Trends 37(1):70-73