Where Does Food Safety Start?

Where Does Food Safety Start?

Where Does Food Safety Start? I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

It's a good question and one that has recently been the subject of some research. Diane Wetherington with Seattle's iFoodDecisionsSciences says they focused on the safety of apples.

WETHERINGTON: The exposure potential deals with how many servings somebody is eating of a product and in this case it's an apple and how frequently do they consume it. When you are looking at toxicity you say, what's the dose and what is that going to lead to? What is the response? What kind of illness? And then you are looking at the probability of illness and from that you have estimates of probability of illness and how severe it's going to be.

This is where risk management comes in.

WETHERINGTON: When we developed the hazard identification, the first thing that we did is that we looked at the available data. We looked through the CDC database to see if we could find illnesses associated with apples. We looked at other epidemiological studies and other information that was developed. We also looked at scientific research that was out there. What were the scientists talking about when they looked at apples.

Wetherington says they went on from there and looked at the actual microbial data they found that the bulk of the environmental tests were looking for generic E. coli bacteria.

WETHERINGTON: We built a database of about 5000 results and it covered areas such as water, product testing and environmental testing. When we looked at the actual results for environmental testing we also found that there were a greater degree positives for E. coli than there were for either listeria species or salmonella.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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