News Center

Center for Produce Safety Awards $2.8M to Fourteen Research Projects

October 6, 2014
 Download PDF

Center for Produce Safety Awards $2.8M to Fourteen Projects

 Davis, California, October 6, 2014 – The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) today announced fourteen new grant awards valued at $2.8 million.  The research awards are directed at answering critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices for fruit, vegetable and tree nut production; pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest handling; and co-management of 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.

The broad range of the projects reflects the commitment of CPS's Partners in Research, a cross section of public and private partners.  Contributing partners for these projects are: California Department of Food and Agriculture, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, California Leafy Greens Research Program, California Melon Research Board, California Pistachio Research Program, National Mango Board, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the CPS Campaign for Research.

“We’re very encouraged and excited about this round of funded research projects. The research being conducted at CPS is relevant to all points of the supply chain – farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers.  The goal for CPS, and our contributing Partners in Research, is to keep fresh produce safe for everyone,” said Stephen Patricio, chairman for the CPS Board of Directors. “I encourage industry stakeholders to continue their support of the Center for Produce Safety research programs.”

One of the new industry partners in the award announcement is the National Mango Board (NMB). Executive Director, NMB, William Watson noted, "The mango industry is grateful to be a partner in food safety with CPS.  Their expertise and guidance helped shape a very strong research project that will help the mango industry's commitment to food safety." 

The CPS Technical Committee reviewed 48 proposals this year.  The CPS Technical Committee is an advisory group that includes experts from industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations.  “CPS, its technical committee and partners in research have yet again demonstrated tremendous leadership and truly moved the ball forward on produce food safety. It has selected and funded an outstanding slate of produce safety research that will be impactful and valuable for the entire produce supply chain,” stated Jim Gorney, vice president, Food Safety & Technology, Produce Marketing Association and chair of the CPS Technical Committee.

2014 RFP Grant Recipients (projects will begin January 2015):

Ana Allende, CSIC - Spain
Demonstration of practical, effective and environmentally sustainable agricultural water treatments to achieve compliance with microbiological criteria.

Mary Anne Amalaradjou, University of Connecticut 
Impact of wash water disinfectants on Salmonella enterica transfer and survival in mango packing facility water tank operations.

Kelly Bright, University of Arizona
Enteric viruses as new indicators of human and cattle fecal contamination of irrigation waters.

Alan Franklin, US Department of Agriculture, APHIS WS
Contamination of leafy green crops with foodborne pathogens: Are wildlife a problem? 

Vincent Hill, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia
Improved sampling and analytical methods for testing agricultural water for pathogens, surrogates and source tracking indicators.

Michele Jay-Russell, University of California, Davis
Evaluation of falconry as an economically viable co-management strategy to deter nuisance birds in leafy green fields.

Bradley Marks, Michigan State University
Improving pasteurization validation methods for pistachio processing.

Maeli Melotto, University of California, Davis
Towards preventing internalization and persistence of human bacterial pathogens in fresh produce.

Sam Nugen, University of Massachusetts
Rapid bacterial testing for on-farm sampling.

Steven Rideout, Virginia Polytechnic University
Investigation of risk criteria and foodborne pathogen reduction practices for irrigation water.  

Trevor Suslow, University of California, Davis

1)      Rapid tests to specifically differentiate clinically significant from environmental STEC towards reducing unnecessary crop destruction.

2)      Evaluation of an alternative irrigation water quality indicator.

Marc Verhougstraete, University of Arizona
Optimal strategies for monitoring irrigation water quality and the development of guidelines for the irrigation of food crops.

Qin Wang, University of Maryland
Validation of chlorine level in sanitization system to avoid cross-contamination.

To date CPS has funded 100 projects valued at $16.4 million.  The awards were made possible by funds provided by partners and contributors to the CPS Campaign for Research.

To view additional information on projects that have been funded by CPS, click HERE.

Center for Produce Safety
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is focused exclusively on providing the produce industry and government with open access to the actionable information needed to continually enhance the safety of produce. Established by public and private partnership at the University of California, Davis, initial funding for CPS was provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California, Produce Marketing Association and Taylor Farms. Ongoing administrative costs are covered by the Produce Marketing Association, enabling industry and public funds to go exclusively to research.

CPS Contact:
Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, Executive Director
Phone (530) 757-5777

Twitter | Facebook