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CPS Announces the 2015 Research Awards

October 7, 2015
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Center for Produce Safety Awards 11 New Research Projects

 Woodland, CA  10.6.2015 - The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) today announced 11 new research awards valued at nearly $2 million.  The awards are for research projects directed at answering critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices for fruits and vegetables; pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest handling; and food safety and the environment.  The objective is to provide the produce industry with practical, translatable research data that can be used at all levels of the supply chain.

"We're very encouraged and excited about this round of funded research projects.  The research being conducted with CPS has great relevance to all points of the supply chain - farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers. The goal for CPS and our research partners is to help identify solutions and keep fresh produce safe for everyone," said Drew McDonald, VP, Quality, Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs at Church Brothers, and the newly appointed Chair for the CPS Technical Committee.  "The broad range of the projects reflects the commitment of a cross section of public and private partners from the United States and around the world.  I am encouraged by the continued and growing support from industry stakeholders for the Center for Produce Safety research programs

One of the new industry partners is the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA).  Barry Bedwell, CFFA President, noted, "The California Fresh Fruit Association, which represents thirteen fruit commodities, is proud to be a partner in food safety with CPS.  Their expertise and guidance helped shape a very strong research project that will confirm the industry's commitment to food safety."

The awards were made possible by funds provided by the Center for Produce Safety's campaign contributors and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. 

2015 RFP Grant Recipients (projects will begin January 2016):

Kelly Bright, University of Arizona - Identification of novel indicator organisms to determine the risks of fecal contamination of irrigation waters

Michael Cahn, University of California Cooperative Extension - Microbial food safety risks of using tail water for leafy green production

Michelle Danyluk, University of Florida - Factors that influence the introduction, fate and mitigation of foodborne pathogens on mangoes throughout the production chain

Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriquez, North Carolina State University - Establishing die-off rates of surrogate and virulent EHEC-STEC strains from strawberry and cilantro surfaces:  time, inoculum dose and chemical intervention

Xiuping Jiang, Clemson University - Validating a physically heat-treated process for poultry litter in industry settings using the avirulent Salmonella surrogates or indicator microorganisms

Rolf Joerger, University of Delaware - Evaluation of the efficacy of antimicrobial agents to prevent the transfer of Listeria monocytogenes from existing biofilms to produce or processing surfaces

Steven Pao, California State University of Fresno - Evaluation of sanitizing treatments for sizer carriers in stone fruit packinghouses

Laura Strawn, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Control of cross-contamination during field-pack and retail handling of cantaloupe

Max Teplitski, University of Florida - Comparative genomics analysis and physiological assessment of the avirulent Salmonella surrogate relevant to produce safety

Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University- Pathogen physiological state has a greater effect on outcomes of challenge and validation studies than strain diversity

Stefan Wuertz, University of California, Davis - Prevalence of diverse parasites on packaged salads and associated risks to consumers based on detection of viable oocysts and quantitative microbial risk assessment

To date, CPS has funded 112 projects valued at over $18 million.  To view additional information on projects that have been funded by CPS, click HERE.

CPS Contact:
Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Executive Director
Phone (530) 554-9706

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