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produce testing

Microbial Testing of Fresh Produce: Where is the Value?


Summary Product testing is an inefficient tool for enhancing the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The probability of finding a contaminant is very low at the bacterial population densities likely to be found. Product testing is wasteful of resources because of the time and expense of the testing itself, but also because all tested… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Ode to the Microbiological Data Program


I was going to take a weekend off from Publisher’s Platform. It has been a long couple of weeks of long days, and more than a few late nights, working on putting the cases together of the 22 injured people and the families of 20 who died in the 2011 Listeria cantaloupe outbreak that I… Continue Reading

USDA Decides to Spare Produce Testing Program This Year

After an uptick in press coverage on the impending shutdown of the Microbiological Data Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to keep the produce testing program running, at least through the end of the year. As Food Safety News reported last week, if the program were to shut down, as it was slated… Continue Reading

USDA Budget Cut Could Slash 80 Percent of Produce Testing

The nation's largest pathogen testing program may shut down this month

Public testing for pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria on fresh produce will drop by more than 80 percent if a key U.S. Department of Agriculture testing program is eliminated, according to an analysis by Food Safety News. The USDA’s Microbiological Data Program was zeroed out in the Obama administration’s 2013 budget request and… Continue Reading