lunes, 28 de mayo de 2012

Good news for cantaloupe growers

New sanitation methods can help to reduce risks
In the winter of 2011, those who don’t like cantaloupe were given one more reason to scoff at the orange fruit: Listeriosis. 146 cases of Listeria infection with 30 deaths were reported from September 2011 to December 2011 originating from cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado, USA. 
Listeriosis, a series infection resulting from eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, particularly threatens immunosuppressed populations like pregnant women, HIV/AIDS patients, and the elderly. Although Listeria infection does not produce as many clinical cases when compared to infections from other food-borne pathogens like Salmonella spp. or E. coli O157:H7, it generally has a higher rate of mortality, due in part to the long incubation, which can range anywhere from three to seventy days.
Not surprisingly, cantaloupe producers have since taken measures to standardize the quality of their products. California cantaloupe handlers, who make up 70% of the US’s cantaloupe market, recently voted in favor of a new food quality safety program, not-so-conspicuously trying to send a message to consumers that California cantaloupes are indeed safe for consumption.

The new program will piggyback off of programs already in place by other California produce boards, such as the California Tomato Farmers, although the exact details of the new program have been yet to be solidified. However, the general idea will be to increase government inspection of the whole growing process. The new program will also outline a set of advisories on cantaloupe safety ranging from preventing condensation during cooling to proper cantaloupe packaging techniques.
This new food safety program is not the only new advancement in cantaloupe safety. Dr. Bassam Annous, a microbiologist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been developing an up-and-coming cantaloupe washing procedure, where cantaloupes are bathed in 75 °C (168 °F) water, destroying 99.999% of all Salmonella bacteria. The treatment is currently being developed to fight against the more heat-tolerant Listeria. With both the approaching implantation of the new food safety program and the bath technique, things are looking up for cantaloupe producers and consumers alike.
For FDA melon growing guidelines, look here:
Aporte: Jeremy Neuman

No hay comentarios.: