Special Issue "Fresh Produce Safety"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Malik Altaf Hussain

1 Senior Technical Officer, NSW Food Authority, Department of Primary Industries, Sydney, Australia
2 Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Food Microbiology, Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand
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Interests: food safety; microbiological risk assessment; foodborne pathogens; safe food supply; HACCP; food safety management; food security; microbial biotechnology
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ravi Gooneratne

Professor of Toxicology, Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand
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Interests: food toxicology; food safety; food security; risk assessment; veterinary toxicology; environmental toxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for a balanced diet and healthy life-style. However, contamination of fresh produce is emerging as a major food safety challenge. In recent years, contaminated produce has been implicated in many foodborne outbreaks worldwide. Several groups of microorganisms can colonize or contaminate fruits and vegetables at any point throughout the food supply chain. Pathogenic microorganisms, such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and norovirus, are commonly associated with contaminated fresh produce. Various types of fresh produce including cantaloupe, strawberries, mangos, leafy green, lettuce, salad mixes, sprouts, cabbage, cut celery and radishes are important vehicles for transmission of human pathogens. Therefore, it is important to understand the nature of fresh produce contamination, its sources, risks to the consumer, and approaches to eliminate or reduce contaminant levels. There has been a rapid growth in scientific knowledge in this important area of food safety. This Special Issue of Foods on ‘Fresh Produce Safety’ invites manuscripts on aspects of safe supply and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Malik A. Hussain
Prof. Dr. Ravi Gooneratne
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fresh produce
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Food safety
  • Foodborne pathogens
  • Microbial contamination
  • Food toxicology
  • Supply chain
  • Cantaloupe
  • Leafy green
  • Listeria
  • Salmonella

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Understanding the Fresh Produce Safety Challenges
Received: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for a balanced diet and healthy life-style. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Safety)

Research

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Open AccessCommunication Microbiological Parameters in the Primary Production of Berries: A Pilot Study
Received: 3 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
The primary production of fresh soft fruits was considered to be a suspected critical point for the contamination of frozen berries that were responsible for the large 2013–2014 Hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in Europe. In this study, an Italian berries’ production area
[...] Read more.
The primary production of fresh soft fruits was considered to be a suspected critical point for the contamination of frozen berries that were responsible for the large 2013–2014 Hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in Europe. In this study, an Italian berries’ production area was studied for its agro-technical characteristics, and the fresh fruits were analyzed for the presence of enteric viruses (HAV and Norovirus (NoV) genogroup I and genogroup II (GGI and GGII)), the enumeration of hygienic quality parameters, and the prevalence of bacterial pathogens. A total of 50 producers were sampled, who specialized in the exclusive or shared cultivation of berries. Escherichia coli was detected in two blackberry samples, whereas HAV and Norovirus were not detected. The samples were negative for Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The farms’ attributes were not associated with positive samples, apart from the presence of E. coli and the aerobic mesophilic bacteria for blackberry that were statistically correlated. In blueberries, the high aerobic mesophilic count could likely be associated with the resistance of the outer layer to handling. However, the two pathogens (Salmonella spp. and STEC) and the targeted viruses (HAV, NoV GGI and GGII) were not detected, highlighting the low risk of foodborne pathogens and viral contamination at the primary production stage of the berry food chain in the area considered in this pilot study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Safety)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Sweet Potato Starch-Based Nanocomposite Films Activated With Thyme Essential Oil on the Shelf-Life of Baby Spinach Leaves
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2025 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhi) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) have been responsible for an increasing number of outbreaks linked to fresh produce, such as baby spinach leaves, in the last two decades. More recently, antimicrobial biodegradable packaging systems have
[...] Read more.
Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhi) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) have been responsible for an increasing number of outbreaks linked to fresh produce, such as baby spinach leaves, in the last two decades. More recently, antimicrobial biodegradable packaging systems have been attracting much attention in the food packaging industry as eco-friendly alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of antibacterial nanocomposite films on inoculated spinach leaves and on the sensory properties of these leaves during eight days of refrigerated storage. In this study, an antibacterial film comprised of sweet potato starch (SPS), montmorillonite (MMT) nanoclays and thyme essential oil (TEO) as a natural antimicrobial agent was developed. Our results showed that the incorporation of TEO in the film significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the population of E. coli and S. Typhi on fresh baby spinach leaves to below detectable levels within five days, whereas the control samples without essential oil maintained approximately 4.5 Log colony forming unit (CFU)/g. The sensory scores for spinach samples wrapped in films containing TEO were higher than those of the control. This study thus suggests that TEO has the potential to be directly incorporated into a SPS film to prepare antimicrobial nanocomposite films for food packaging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Safety)
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review on the Rising Prevalence of International Standards: Threats or Opportunities for the Agri-Food Produce Sector in Developing Countries, with a Focus on Examples from the MENA Region
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
Food safety standards are a necessity to protect consumers’ health in today’s growing global food trade. A number of studies have suggested safety standards can interrupt trade, bringing financial and technical burdens on small as well as large agri-food producers in developing countries.
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Food safety standards are a necessity to protect consumers’ health in today’s growing global food trade. A number of studies have suggested safety standards can interrupt trade, bringing financial and technical burdens on small as well as large agri-food producers in developing countries. Other examples have shown that economical extension, key intermediaries, and funded initiatives have substantially enhanced the capacities of growers in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to meet the food safety and quality requirements, and improve their access to international markets. These endeavors often compensate for the weak regulatory framework, but do not offer a sustainable solution. There is a big gap in the food safety level and control systems between countries in the MENA region and those in the developed nations. This certainly has implications for the safety of fresh produce and agricultural practices, which hinders any progress in their international food trade. To overcome the barriers of legal and private standards, food safety should be a national priority for sustainable agricultural development in the MENA countries. Local governments have a primary role in adopting the vision for developing and facilitating the implementation of their national Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards that are consistent with the international requirements and adapted to local policies and environment. Together, the public and private sector’s support are instrumental to deliver the skills and infrastructure needed for leveraging the safety and quality level of the agri-food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Safety)
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