• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Preventive Control Measures for Fresh & Fresh-Cut Produce


Analysis & Evaluation of Preventive Control Measures for the Control & Reduction/Elimination of Microbial Hazards on Fresh & Fresh-Cut Produce


Table of Contents


IFT/FDA Task Order Charge

Executive Summary

Chapter I. Microbiological Safety of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce: Description of the Situation and Economic Impact

  1. Introduction
  2. Fresh produce market structure
    2.1 Current size of the industry
    2.2 Consolidation trends
    2.3 Global distribution trends
    2.4 Computerization technology
  3. Food safety systems in the produce industry
    3.1 Government food safety regulations for produce
  4. Economics of intervention strategies to reduce or eliminate pathogens
    4.1 In the field
    4.2 Packinghouses
    4.3 In the fresh-cut produce plant
  5. Summary
  6. Research needs
    Figure I-1. Fresh fruit and vegetable marketing channels 1987 and 1988


Chapter II. Production Practices as Risk Factors in Microbial Food Safety of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce
  1. Scope
  2. Introduction
  3. Pre-harvest operations
    2.1 Manure and biosolids
    2.1.1 Description of the situation
    2.1.2 Factors affecting contamination Pathogen populations in animal feces Manure storage and processing method Biological and physical buffers Timing and location factors
    2.1.3 Indirect contamination
    2.1.4 Use of compost and manure teas in organic produce
    2.1.5 Current research
    2.2. Water for agricultural uses
    2.2.1 Description of the situation
    2.2.2 Factors determining the risk of microbial contamination Management choices Modes of irrigation Protection of water sources Irrigation with run-off water Irrigation with reclaimed water Other production uses of water
    2.2.3 Microbial quality of water and contamination of produce
    2.2.4 On-farm treatments of water
    2.2.5 Conclusions
    2.3 Other indirect vectors of pathogens
  4. Harvest and post-harvest operations
    3.1 Summary of hazard control points for selected fruits and vegetables
    3.2 Postharvest packing, cooling, and storage
    3.2.1 Introduction
    3.2.2 Water quality
    3.2.3 Design considerations for overall food safety in a processing plant
    3.3 Transportation of fresh produce: factors affecting microbial food safety
  5. Conclusions
  6. Research needs
    Appendix A. State/Federal Regulations Impacting the Potential for Microbial Contamination of Produce
Chapter III. Standardization of a Method to Determine the Efficacy of Sanitizers in Inactivating Human Pathogenic Microorganisms on Raw Fruits and Vegetables
  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Organism and preparation of inoculum
  4. Type of fruit or vegetable
  5. Procedure for inoculation
  6. Efficiency of retrieval and efficacy of decontamination treatment
  7. Procedure for detection and enumeration
  8. Reporting results
  9. Research needs
    Figure III-1. Relationship of weight versus surface area of tomato fruit and iceburg lettuce leaf
    Table III-1
Chapter IV. Outbreaks Associated with Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce. Incidence, Growth, and Survival of Pathogens in Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce
  1. Scope
  2. Foodborne pathogens associated with fresh produce
  3. Outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables
  4. Survival and multiplication of pathogens on raw produce
    3.1 Influence of packaging
    3.2 Specific foods -- examples
    3.3 Pathogens of concern -- bacteria
    3.4 Spore-forming pathogenic bacteria
    3.5 Pathogens of greatest concern -- viruses
    3.6 Pathogens of greatest concern -- protozoan parasites
  5. Conclusions
  6. Research needs
    Incidence Tables
    Outbreaks Tables
    Growth/Survival Tables
Chapter V. Methods to Reduce/Eliminate Pathogens from Produce and Fresh-Cut Produce
  1. Scope
  2. Introduction
    1.1 Combined methods and hurdles
  3. Intervention Methods
    2.1 Temperature
    2.2 Physical removal of microorganisms
    2.3 Chlorine
    2.4 Chlorine dioxide
    2.5 Bromine
    2.6 Iodine
    2.7 Quaternary ammonium compounds
    2.8 Acidic compounds with or without fatty acid surfactants
    2.9 Alkaline compounds
    2.10 Peracetic acid alone and in combination with fatty acids
    2.11 Hydrogen peroxide
    2.12 Ozone
    2.13 Irradiation
    2.14 Biocontrol
    2.15 Miscellaneous
  4. Summary
  5. Research needs
    Table V-1. Matrix of methods to mitigate the presence of microorganisms on whole and cut produce
Chapter VI. Microbiological Safety of Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce
  1. Scope
  2. Introduction
    1.1 Types of CAS
    1.2 Types of MAP
    1.3 Films used in MAP
  3. Factors affecting shelf life
  4. Influence of MAP/CAP on growth and survival of organisms on produce
    3.1 Spoilage organisms
    3.2 Pathogenic organisms
    3.3 Clostridium botulinum
    3.4 Listeria monocytogenes
    3.5 Aeromonas hydrophilia
    3.6 Other pathogens of concern with respect to MAP produce
  5. Conclusions
  6. Research needs
    Tables VI-1-7
Chapter VII. The Use of Indicators and Surrogate microorganisms for the Evaluation of Pathogens in Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce
  1. Scope
  2. Introduction
    1.1 Definitions
  3. Indicators and their targets
    2.1 Role of indicators
    2.2 Specific produce item and environmental considerations
    2.3 Challenge of selecting target contaminants
    2.4 Analytical methods to detect or enumerate the indicator
    2.5 Methods for injured cells
    2.6 Sampling plans
    2.7 Evaluation of appropriateness of indicator
    2.8 Examples of the use of indicators
  4. Surrogate microorganisms
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Importance of surrogates
    3.3 Criteria for surrogates
    3.4 Surrogates for produce
    3.5 Other considerations
    Table VII-2. Considerations for a standard surrogate procedure
  5. Summary
  6. Research needs
Chapter VIII. Research Needs
List of References
Additional Reading List

A Report of the Institute of Food Technologists for the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

September 30, 2001

IFT/FDA Contract No. 223-98-2333
Task Order No. 3
Analysis and Evaluation of Preventive Control Measures for the Control and Reduction/Elimination of Microbial Hazards on Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce