Webinar: New UV-Based Interventions to Enhance the Food Safety of Fresh Produce

IUVA, in conjunction with RadTech and SUNY-ESF, is presenting a free webinar Tuesday, Jan. 15.

The webinar, titled New UV-Based Interventions to Enhance the Food Safety of Fresh Produce, is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. It will be presented by IUVA; Keith Warriner, professor and Department of Food Science graduate coordinator, University of Guelph; and Tatiana Koutchma, research scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

There have been three outbreaks of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to contaminated romaine lettuce within the last 12 months that have affected more than 200 people. Since 1995, there have been more than 40 outbreaks linked to leafy greens although other produce types, such as apples, cantaloupes and soft fruit, also have been implicated.

There are various routes from production through to the end user by which pathogens become associated with fresh produce. For large scale outbreaks, the typical source of pathogens is contaminated irrigation water with pathogens being spread during post-harvest processing.

To date, the main interventions used to enhance the microbiological safety of fresh produce is through good agricultural practice (GAP), testing and post-harvest washing. However, none are effective as demonstrated by the ongoing foodborne illness outbreaks. Consequently, more effective treatments are required, and those based on UV show promise.

For example, UV treatment of irrigation water and water-assisted UV post-harvest washing is a further technology. The main challenge with UV is to access the shaded area on produce surfaces. To overcome this limitation, UV-based methods based on AOP have been developed and are being applied on a commercial scale. Additionally, research was conducted on application of multiple wavelengths LEDs against common food pathogens on the surface of fresh produce. Based on risk analysis of recent outbreaks and produce production chain, this webinar will discuss new approaches to enhance safety by using UV light through advanced oxidation, water-assisted washing and UV LED interventions.

To register for the webinar, visit https://radtech.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=83d3a9670791311154f15cd20&id=a1d849cd20&e=6cfaca9f3a.