The Produce Contamination Problem

2nd Edition

Causes and Solutions

Editors: Karl Matthews Gerald Sapers Charles Gerba
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124046115
eBook ISBN: 9780124046863
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 10th March 2014
Page Count: 492
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Table of Contents

Food Science and Technology International Series



Part 1 Produce Contamination:Scope and Sources

Chapter 1. Scope of the Produce Contamination Problem


Key aspects of the produce contamination problem

Potential sources of produce contamination

Gaps in our understanding of produce contamination

Chapter 2. Microbial Attachment and Persistence on Plants


Ecological niches and introduction into the plant environment

Outbreak investigations reveal sources and persistence of pathogens

Attachment of pathogens to plant tissue

Biofilm formation on produce surfaces

Internalization and persistence

Specific interactions of the pathogens with commodities

Plant defense response to human enteric pathogens


Chapter 3. Identification of the Source of Contamination


Overview: phases of a foodborne outbreak investigation

Specifics of environmental investigations

Training needs for environmental investigators of retail, food processing facilities, packing sheds, and farms

Resuming operations

Farm investigations

Packinghouse investigations

Vacuum cooler/hydrocooler investigation

Fresh-cut produce processor investigations

Intentional contamination

Lessons learned


Editor’s Note

Chapter 4. Manure Management


Manure use on crops

Survival of pathogens in manure

Pastures, lots, and runoff

Manure treatment technologies



Chapter 5. Bioaerosol Contamination of Produce: Potential Issues from


Understanding the causes and contributing factors leading to outbreaks of food-borne illness associated with contamination of fresh produce is a worldwide challenge for everyone from the growers of fresh-cut produce through the entire production and delivery process. The premise of The Produce Contamination Problem is that when human pathogen contamination of fresh produce occurs, it is extremely difficult to reduce pathogen levels sufficiently to assure microbiological safety with the currently available technologies. A wiser strategy would be to avoid crop production conditions that result in microbial contamination to start.

These critical, problem-oriented chapters have been written by researchers active in the areas of food safety and microbial contamination during production, harvesting, packing and fresh-cut processing of horticultural crops, and were designed to provide methods of contamination avoidance. Coverage includes policy and practices in the United States, Mexico and Central America, Europe, and Japan.

Key Features

  • Addresses food-borne contaminations from a prevention view, providing proactive solutions to the problems
  • Covers core sources of contamination and methods for identifying those sources
  • Includes best practice and regulatory information


This book will be useful to growers, packers and fresh-cut processors and their trade associations and suppliers, especially those impacted by outbreaks of food-borne illness. Also a valuable source of information to researchers at universities and government agencies who are investigating means of avoiding contamination and improving the microbiological safety of fresh produce.


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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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"...useful to growers, packers, fresh-cut processers and their suppliers, especially those organisations impacted by outbreaks of foodborne illness."--FST Magazine,November 2014

About the Editors

Karl Matthews Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, USA

Gerald Sapers Editor

Affiliations and Expertise


Charles Gerba Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arizona, Tucson, USA