Two grants were awarded to Fresno State’s Food Science and Nutrition Department for produce safety research and consumer education. Made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Center for Produce Safety, Dr. Steven Pao, department chair, and Dr. Erin Dormedy will oversee a one-year study to evaluate and improve sanitizing treatments in stone fruit packinghouses. The study began in January 2016 and is conducted in partnership with the California Fresh Fruit Association and area stone fruit producers. The research aims to determine natural microbial levels on contact surfaces in the sorting and handling process. It will also evaluate potential pathogens and their growth on surfaces in different temperature and humidity conditions, and the effectiveness of cleaning treatments. Pathogens will be measured on sorting and sizing machinery to develop new methods for sanitizing the equipment onsite during the production process.
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