IFT/NCFST Symposium To Address Safety Of Fresh Produce

April 23, 1998

CHICAGO--Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to have many health benefits, yet recent outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with fresh produce have made consumers hesitant about getting their "5 a Day." Food and agricultural scientists will convene May 12-14 in Rosemont, Il., to examine food safety challenges associated with fresh fruits and vegetables.

The symposium, "Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Food Safety Challenges," is the fourth in a series on Food Safety in the 21st Century, sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Topics covered on Tues., May 12, will include an overview of outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with fresh fruits and vegetables, international trade dimensions of fresh produce safety, industry initiatives to enhance the safety of fresh produce, microbial ecology in fruits and vegetables, and an overview of current microbiological perspectives on fresh produce.

On Wed., May 13, good agricultural practices and postharvest handling of fresh fruits and vegetables will be examined. Topics will include crop fertilization, water treatments, water quality, irrigation, runoff control, pesticide applications, harvest and sanitation concerns, quality and integrity of product at harvest, traceback, receiving incoming product, staging and cooling procedures, transportation and produce distribution systems, handling fresh produce in supermarkets and in restaurants, and keeping fresh-cut produce safe.

The symposium will conclude on Thurs., May 14, with a discussion of intervention strategies and future directions in fresh produce safety assurance. To be addressed are research needs, new technologies for safer produce, the federal research agenda for fresh produce safety, and the future of the federal government's produce safety initiative.

Registration for the symposium will be on May 12 from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at the Holiday Inn-O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill. The program will run on May 12 from 1-5:15 PM, on May 13 from 8 AM to 5:15 PM, and on May 14 from 8 AM to 12 Noon. For more information, a list of speakers, or advance registration, contact Angela Dansby at (312) 782-8424 X134.

Founded in 1939, IFT is a non-profit scientific society with 28,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.

Institute of Food Technologists

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