Center for Produce Safety Announces Research Awards, Dave Corsi Comments
WOODLAND, CA - New research awards, valued at over $2.6 million, have been given to 13 recipients to address critical questions in specific areas of food safety practices. The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) announced that among this year’s topics are storage, sanitation, agricultural water, co-management, and risk-based field sampling.
“We are proud to announce this slate of awards led by outstanding scientists from around the globe to answer pressing research needs and advance real-world solutions,” said Dave Corsi, VP of Produce and Floral at Wegmans Food Markets. “Funding for the projects comes from a combination of contributions to CPS’ Campaign for Produce Safety and state block-grant funds. We recognize the responsibility CPS has to ensure these funds are managed prudently to provide scientific tools that support fresh produce food safety programs for our customers and industry.”
Corsi’s response is echoed within the industry, as well as lead researchers within academia. Dr. Matthew Stasiewicz, University of Illinois, is a first-time award recipient ready to jump in and find some answers to issues our industry faces.
“We are excited to begin our project to simulate in-field produce sampling to guide risk-based sampling plans,” Stasiewicz shared. "While our team is actively working on developing computational tools to simulate sampling plans and understand field-specific risks, CPS has made it possible for us to partner with industry leaders to apply our models to commercial fields and validate predictions against industry data as well as field-trial data. These partnerships will ensure that our project is a collaboration leading to practical recommendations to improve in-field food safety sampling.”
Here is a list of award winners, according to a press release:
- Ana Allende, PhD, Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS) - CSIC, Spain
- Kay Cooksey, PhD, Clemson University
- Kerry Cooper, PhD, University of Arizona
- Charles Gerba, PhD, University of Arizona
- Emma Hartnett, PhD, Risk Sciences International, Canada
- Renata Ivanek, PhD, Cornell University
- Xiuping Jiang, PhD, Clemson University
- Daniel Karp, PhD, University of California, Davis
- Xiangwu Nou, PhD, USDA ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
- Elliot Ryser, PhD, Michigan State University
- Matthew Stasiewicz, PhD, University of Illinois
- Laura Strawn, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Boce Zhang, PhD, University of Massachusetts
“Working together with apple growers from Washington State, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, our team with almost 70 years of combined experience with Listeria and world-class expertise in apply physiology is excided to be able to contribute to the goals of CPS,” shared Dr. Elliot Ryser with Michigan State University. “Through our combined efforts, this 2-year project will provide answers to many important questions, including 1) How long do outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes persist on apples during air and controlled atmosphere storage, 2) Do different Listeria strains have different capabilities for surviving on apples, 3) Does apple waxing increase or decrease Listeria survival, 4) Does Listeria survival on apples differ according to apple variety, growing region, and growing season, and 5) Does Listeria on apples differ between planktonic cells versus biofilm-derived cells?”
The awards were funded by the Center for Produce Safety’s campaign contributors, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Texas Department of Agriculture.
Projects will begin January of 2019.
As we get closer to the end of this year, we, at AndNowUKnow, look forward to seeing how the research and projects funded by these awards will impact our industry and beyond.