Understanding preferences for interventions to reduce microbiological contamination in Dutch vegetable production
Asseldonk, M.A.P.M. Van; Malaguti, L. ; Breukers, M.L.H. ; Fels, H.J. van der - \ 2018
Journal of Food Protection 81 (2018)6. - ISSN 0362-028X - p. 892 - 897.
Behavior - Fresh produce - Incentive - Microbiology - Pathogen
Understanding growers' preferences regarding interventions to improve the microbiological safety of their produce could help to design more effective strategies for the adoption of such food safety measures by growers. The objective of this survey study was to obtain insights for the design of interventions that could stimulate growers to increase the frequency of irrigation water sampling and water testing to reduce possible microbiological contamination of their fresh produce. The results showed that price intervention, referring to making the intervention less costly by reducing the price via discounts, is the most effective strategy to change growers' intentions to increase their frequency of irrigation water testing. Moreover, a sense of urgency affects their intentions to increase the frequency of irrigation water testing. The findings of this survey support the hypothesis that, to date, safety is not perceived as a quality control issue under normal circumstances, but safety becomes an overriding attribute in a food crisis.
Foodborne pathogens and their risk exposure factors associated with farm vegetables in Rwanda
Ssemanda, James Noah ; Reij, Martine W. ; Middendorp, Gerrieke van; Bouw, El ; Plaats, Rozemarijn van der; Franz, Eelco ; Muvunyi, Claude Mambo ; Bagabe, Mark Cyubahiro ; Zwietering, Marcel H. ; Joosten, Han - \ 2018
Food Control 89 (2018). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 86 - 96.
Developing countries - Farming systems - Fresh produce - Global one health - Irrigation water - Pathogens
In this study, we tested farm vegetables and agricultural water for the presence of foodborne pathogens, and evaluated farming practices of vegetable farms in Rwanda. Farm vegetable samples were found to be contaminated with foodborne pathogens at considerably high rate (overall 15/99 = 15%). Specifically, the prevalence of pathogens in farm vegetables varied from 1.0% (1/99) for Listeria monocytogenes, 3.0% (3/99) for thermo-tolerant Campylobacter spp., 5.1% (5/99) for Salmonella spp. to 6.1% (6/99) pathogenic Escherichia coli. In agricultural water from rivers, lakes, lagoons, ground and marshlands, prevalence of DNA from pathogens varied from 3% (1/30) for Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC); 7% (2/30) for Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC); 13% (4/30) for Enterotoxigenic E. coli. (ETEC) and Vibrio cholera; 20% (6/30) for Yersinia pestis; 27% (8/30) for Francisella tularensis; 40% (12/30) for Cyclospora to 87% (26/30) for thermo-tolerant Campylobacter spp. DNA of the following pathogens was not detected (0/30) in water: entero pathogenic E. coli (EPEC), shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC), Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes, Burkholderia, Rickettsia, Toxoplasma gondii, Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica and Hepatitis E. About farming practices, 60% of the visited vegetable farms practiced irrigation and all the water used was from un-protected sources (from marshlands [70%], rivers [18%], lakes [7%], runoff lagoons [5%]). Over 80% of the farms applied overhead irrigation methods and none of the farms had implemented measures to restrict the access of domestic and wild animals, while 50% of the farms used untreated manure. The reported high detection rate of foodborne pathogens DNA in agricultural water and the observed risky farming practices, provides a likely explanation of the reported prevalence of pathogens in farm vegetables and presents an important public health concern if these vegetables are to be consumed raw.
Exploration of logistics and quality control activities in view of context characteristics and postharvest losses in fresh produce chains : A case study for tomatoes
Macheka, Lesley ; Spelt, Elsbeth ; Vorst, Jack G.A.J. van der; Luning, Pieternel A. - \ 2017
Food Control 77 (2017). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 221 - 234.
Context characteristics - Diagnostic tool - Fresh produce - Logistics control - Postharvest losses - Quality control
Postharvest losses in fresh produce chains are a major threat to food security, especially in transition countries. To develop effective intervention strategies for postharvest losses reduction, it is important to first understand the core logistics and quality control activities that could affect postharvest losses in these chains. In this study, a diagnostic tool was developed and used to assess the implementation level of core logistics and quality control activities, the vulnerability of the system due to the context in which it operates, and the actual postharvest losses. Based upon a literature review, the context characteristics are divided into product, process, organisation, and supply chain environment characteristics to assess the context vulnerability to postharvest losses. The identified core logistics activities are planning on the amount of fresh produce to harvest and process, selecting issuing policies, selecting mode of transportation and type of vehicle, and vehicle scheduling and routing. Maturity determination at harvest, deciding on harvest moment, harvesting, packing, and storage practices, use of grading standards, package material, temperature monitoring during storage and transportation, and equipment maintenance are the core quality control activities identified. The tool was applied to three groups of farmers operating in a tomato supply chain in Zimbabwe. The major findings are that commercial farmers recorded lower postharvest losses (1%) as compared to subsistence farmers (3%), the context for commercial farmers is less vulnerable to the generation of postharvest losses as compared to that for subsistence farmers, and logistics and quality control activities for commercial farmers are implemented at a more advanced level. The tool provides differentiated assessment that allows users to identify improvement opportunities to achieve higher performance for the activities and to reduce context vulnerability.