Summary of Awards to Date

Factors that influence the introduction, fate and mitigation of foodborne pathogens on mangoes throughout the production chain

Date

Jan. 1, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2017

Award Number

2015-451

Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety

Amount Awarded

$135,218.00

Investigator

Michelle Danyluk, Ph.D
University of Florida

Co-Investigator(s)

Anita C. Wright, Ph.D, University of Florida

Summary

Understanding the persistence and mitigation of foodborne pathogens on the surface of mangoes is essential to the establishment of Best Management Practices for the responsible handling, packing, distributing, and importing of mangoes, and is a fundamental management prerequisite to providing customers with safe mangoes. There is inadequate science-based data to establish management standards and criteria for mangoes to meet pending requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the persistence of foodborne pathogens on the surfaces of whole and fresh-cut mangoes, assess potential mitigation strategies for control of pathogens on mango surfaces, and appraise the ability of Salmonella to infiltrate mangoes under standard packinghouse conditions and then to determine the fate of the internalized cells. The data resulting from the proposed research will specifically address data gaps the National Mango Board currently faces, and will provide research-based metrics to validate mitigation strategies.

Technical Abstract 

Mangoes have previously been linked to outbreaks of salmonellosis in North America, and limited information about the persistence or control of foodborne pathogens on mangoes exists in the published literature. The objectives of this study are designed to generate a scientific basis for minimizing and controlling pathogen presence on fresh mangoes during postharvest packing, distribution, and retail. Three objectives are included in this proposal: 1) Evaluate the fate of foodborne pathogens on the surfaces of whole and fresh-cut mangoes; 2) Assess the risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens from practices that are common in mango packinghouses; and 3) Evaluate the ability of Salmonella to infiltrate mangoes, and then to determine the fate of the internalized cells.  

The majority of the work will focus on Salmonella and ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes, but experiments are proposed to also evaluate Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Vibrio cholerae, as well as ‘Ataulfo’ and ‘Keitt’ mangoes.  Currently, no scientific data exists to support postharvest intervention or a postharvest storage time for mangoes covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule that may have been exposed to water not meeting the standards currently in the proposed rule. For those packinghouses falling under the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule, the validation of risk-based preventive controls or processes will be key. The data generated in this proposal will specifically address these data gaps and will identify the appropriate pathogen of concern, and validated reduction strategies.