Summary of Awards to Date

Developing a program to educate the walnut supply chain as it pertains to product handling and safety.

Date

Jan. 1, 2011 - Feb. 29, 2012

Award Number

2011-154

Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety

Amount Awarded

$95,454.00

Investigator

Devon Zagory, Ph.D.
Devon Zagory & Associates

Co-Investigator(s)

P. Pimentel

Summary

Walnuts have not been implicated in any food borne illness outbreaks to date. However, recent
Salmonella outbreaks associated with almonds and more recently pistachios have highlighted
the vulnerability of nut crops as potential vectors for food borne pathogens. The California
walnut industry has a critical interest in preventing outbreaks associated with walnuts and
limiting the scope should there be such an outbreak. This proposal describes the development
and implementation of education and training programs specific to the walnut industry, to be
delivered to 60+ walnut "handlers" operating in California. The program seeks to bring all
walnut handlers up to a common level of knowledge about food safety hazards, processes and
programs through a series of on-line educational modules. The modules will cover the basics of
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Homeland Security
(HMLS), Product Protection and Defense and Safety, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point
(HACCP), and principals ofTracejRecali. The second part ofthe program will entail a series of
group meetings with handlers to prepare a hazard analysis appropriate for their individual
operations. We will then develop training and implementation materials to aid in addressing
the identified hazards. Finally, a second series of workshops will provide training in developing
trace-recall and food security programs.