Several key members of the Fresh Produce Food Safety Team have both research and extension appointments at Virginia Tech, which supports a blend of basic scientific research pursuits and real-world practical applications. This type of translational research aims to provide growers with science-based recommendations for enhancing the safety and quality of growing, harvesting, packing, storing, transporting and displaying produce. For example, projects investigating the survival, growth, and transfer of foodborne pathogens between contamination sources, produce and produce-contact surfaces, as well as foodborne pathogen prevalence and persistence in produce associated environments. These projects will generate a better understanding of pathogen behavior in the produce field to fork continuum and allow for the development of targeted interventions.
Projects are organized within the following categories: (1) Capacity-building; (2) On-farm (e.g., pre-harvest water, biological soil amendments, workers, wildlife); (3) Greenhouse and High Tunnel; (4) Packinghouse; and (5) Marketplace. More information can be requested about each project by emailing VTProduceSafety@gmail.com. Project updates can be found on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaFreshProduceFoodSafetyTeam/.