Chapter 23 : Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest

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This chapter focuses on biological hazards, such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, fungi, and any of their associated toxins. It should be noted that biological hazards pose the greatest public health threat at the preharvest stage since chemical and physical hazards do not reproduce and increase in the food and in the environment with time, as do microbiological hazards. Consumption of food, especially fresh foods that are not sterile, carries inherent risks of food-borne disease. Pathogens entering the chain at any stage can be transferred to the final product and result in food-borne illness. The major problem with preharvest control of food-borne pathogens is the wide variety of food products, the range of pathogens, and the complexity of environmental conditions. Vaccination of poultry against serovar Enteritidis has been effective in reducing the pathogen within flocks and eggs and indeed the incidence of salmonellosis in humans. Certain bacteria have the ability to produce and release extracellular proteins with antimicrobial properties, termed bacteriocins. Waste must be handled and stored in a manner that does not contaminate fresh produce. Manure must be obtained from an approved supplier with certification that it is processed adequately to kill pathogens. Agricultural water is used for chemical application, fertilizer application, and irrigation and does not need to be potable. Preharvest control of biological hazards in foods is a relatively new concept, although there have always been “quality assurance” programs in the production sector.

Citation: Stopforth J, Kottapalli B, Sofos J. 2010. Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest, p 357-378. In Juneja V, Sofos J (ed), Pathogens and Toxins in Foods. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815936.ch23

Key Concept Ranking

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Meat and Meat Products
Fecal-Oral Route Transmission
Natural Environment
Surface Water
Lactic Acid Bacteria
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Table 1.

Common zoonotic pathogens transmitted by domestic farm animals to humans

Citation: Stopforth J, Kottapalli B, Sofos J. 2010. Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest, p 357-378. In Juneja V, Sofos J (ed), Pathogens and Toxins in Foods. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815936.ch23
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Table 2.

Major food-borne outbreaks in the United States caused by fresh/fresh-cut produce in the last 10 years

Citation: Stopforth J, Kottapalli B, Sofos J. 2010. Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest, p 357-378. In Juneja V, Sofos J (ed), Pathogens and Toxins in Foods. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815936.ch23
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Table 3.

Microbiological risk categories of fresh produce

Citation: Stopforth J, Kottapalli B, Sofos J. 2010. Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest, p 357-378. In Juneja V, Sofos J (ed), Pathogens and Toxins in Foods. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815936.ch23
Generic image for table
Table 4.

Sources and control points for microbial hazards in fresh produce during preharvest farm operations

Citation: Stopforth J, Kottapalli B, Sofos J. 2010. Interventions for Hazard Control in Foods Preharvest, p 357-378. In Juneja V, Sofos J (ed), Pathogens and Toxins in Foods. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815936.ch23

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