Chapter 2 : Preharvest Farming Practices Impacting Fresh Produce Safety

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Foodborne illness associated with fresh fruits and vegetables and growing and harvesting practices that impact the microbial safety of produce have been under the scrutiny of federal and state regulators for over 40 years. In 1998 the Food and Drug Administration published the Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fruits and Vegetables (GMMFSH) in response to the U.S. President’s Food Safety Initiative, which launched, among other programs, the “Fight Bac” campaign. This GMMFSH guideline was created based on outbreak investigations that identified fresh produce as “an area of concern” ( ) and summarized the then-current body of research and understanding of the risk factors associated with agricultural practices and how they could impact contamination of fresh produce with human pathogens. At the time, the GMMFSH guidelines did not address practices for risk elimination, supply chain, or environmental contaminants; however, they clearly identified the foundation for future research and new federal policies (the Food Safety Modernization Act [FSMA] and the Produce Safety Rule signed into law in 2011, which are currently impacting the farm to fork continuum). Twenty years after the development of these guidelines it is evident that previously identified sources of contamination linked to agronomic practices continue to be implicated in many of the more than 140 produce-related outbreaks investigated by federal and state agencies ( ).

Citation: Gutierrez-Rodriguez E, Adhikari A. 2018. Preharvest Farming Practices Impacting Fresh Produce Safety, p 19-46. In Thakur S, Kniel K (ed), Preharvest Food Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0022-2018
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Challenges within the fresh produce continuum

Citation: Gutierrez-Rodriguez E, Adhikari A. 2018. Preharvest Farming Practices Impacting Fresh Produce Safety, p 19-46. In Thakur S, Kniel K (ed), Preharvest Food Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0022-2018
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Examples of VFSs evaluated for eliminating the pollutants

Citation: Gutierrez-Rodriguez E, Adhikari A. 2018. Preharvest Farming Practices Impacting Fresh Produce Safety, p 19-46. In Thakur S, Kniel K (ed), Preharvest Food Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.PFS-0022-2018

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