Title

Assessment and Reduction of Bacterial Contamination of Fresh Produce

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Davison Sangweme

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Library Technology Center 163

Start Date

24-3-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

24-3-2017 11:50 AM

Description/Abstract

Consumption of raw fruits and vegetables provides people with vital nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes essential for everyday function. Additional benefits of consuming raw produce include protection from many chronic medical conditions and illnesses; such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, these benefits do not come without risk. Raw produce potentially harbors pathogenic bacterial contamination on the surface such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Bacterial contamination can come from any number of places as the produce is grown, harvested, stored, transported, displayed and further handled in the grocery store. This study assesses the quality and quantity of bacteria cultured from the surface of produce and the efficiency of various cleaning treatments. Bacteria from the surface of the produce will be cultured, quantified, and identified before and after cleaning treatments. The effectiveness of the cleaning treatments will be assessed to compare bacterial contamination before and after cleaning of each produce. The produce in this study includes cucumber, peach, and green bell pepper. The cleaning treatments to be assessed will follow FDA guidelines and include water, vinegar dilution, and bleach dilution. Preliminary results with cucumbers show significant microbial reduction with cleaning treatments. The overarching aim of this study will be to assess and reduce bacterial contamination of fresh produce, especially those commonly consumed raw, in simple, convenient and cost-effective ways for household applications.

Note to Conference Administrators

If possible, we would like to present after or at 10:30 a.m due to class.

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Mar 24th, 11:00 AM Mar 24th, 11:50 AM

Assessment and Reduction of Bacterial Contamination of Fresh Produce

Library Technology Center 163

Consumption of raw fruits and vegetables provides people with vital nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes essential for everyday function. Additional benefits of consuming raw produce include protection from many chronic medical conditions and illnesses; such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, these benefits do not come without risk. Raw produce potentially harbors pathogenic bacterial contamination on the surface such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Bacterial contamination can come from any number of places as the produce is grown, harvested, stored, transported, displayed and further handled in the grocery store. This study assesses the quality and quantity of bacteria cultured from the surface of produce and the efficiency of various cleaning treatments. Bacteria from the surface of the produce will be cultured, quantified, and identified before and after cleaning treatments. The effectiveness of the cleaning treatments will be assessed to compare bacterial contamination before and after cleaning of each produce. The produce in this study includes cucumber, peach, and green bell pepper. The cleaning treatments to be assessed will follow FDA guidelines and include water, vinegar dilution, and bleach dilution. Preliminary results with cucumbers show significant microbial reduction with cleaning treatments. The overarching aim of this study will be to assess and reduce bacterial contamination of fresh produce, especially those commonly consumed raw, in simple, convenient and cost-effective ways for household applications.