MICROBIAL FOOD SAFETY
HAZARDS & CONTROL IN
FRESH CUT INDUSTRY
Minimal process Technolog
Science & Technology
What is fresh cut product?
Fresh-cut products are fruits or vegetables that have been
trimmed,peeled and/or cut into a fully usable product, which is
subsequently packaged to offer consumers high nutrition,
convenience and flavour while maintaining freshness (IFPA 2001).
The safety of fresh produce can be compromised by
hazards such as glass, dust and insects.
Chemical hazards such as pesticides.
Microbial hazards poor hygienic practice in the
WHAT IS PRODUCE SAFETY?
Safe food is free of physical and chemical
hazards or microorganisms that cause adverse
effects to human health and life.
Safety is a component of quality.
Business loss and a poor image as a result of
legal action are also serious consequences of
consuming unsafe food.
Fresh-cut products food safety requirements
• meticulous cleanliness of equipment,
employees and product
• constant monitoring of sanitizer activity
• rigid maintenance of refrigerated
• complete integrity of packages
• strict adherence to product use by dates &
Contamination sources of fresh-cut
fruits and vegetables
Contact with contaminated processing
Operations done by contaminated workers.
Other wastes in the field.
Poor packing facility
can significantly increase the risk of
There are five main types of human pathogens
associated with fresh produce:
soil associated pathogenic bacteria (Clostridium botulinum, Listeria
feces associated pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., E.
coli O157:H7 and others)
pathogenic parasites- (Cryptosporidium,
pathogenic viruses- (Hepatitis, Enterovirus).
Fresh cut vegetables &fruits are highly
perishable due to damaged & exposed tissues
and lack of protective skin.
Contamination can occurs at any point in our
food supply chain from farm to table.
During harvesting operations field personnel
may contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables
by simply touching them with an unclean hand
or knife blade.
Produce once harvested placed upon bare
soils before being placed in clean and sanitary
Instead of harvest directly on to the soil cleaned
baskets should be used
Maximize time between manure(animal manure)
application and harvesting.
Ex:- Lettuce, cabbage
Harvest containers used repeatedly during a harvest
should be cleaned after each load is delivered and
prior to reuse.
If the containers are stored outside, they should be
cleaned and sanitized before being used to haul fresh
Wherever water comes into contact with fresh
produce, its quality dictates the potential for
pathogen contamination .
Water of inadequate quality has the potential
to be a direct source of contamination and a
vehicle for spreading localized contamination
in the field.
If pathogens survive on the produce, they may
cause foodborne illness.
Washing is done in 2 stages in fresh cut
1.Washing following harvesting.(Cleaning)
2.Washing after cutting.
In cleaning expect to minimize the microbial
population on the commodity surface
100-150 ppm chlorinated water or suitable
disinfectant should be used (Sodium or
There are basic two ways of sorting
Manual sorting Ex:- Wounded hands,filthy
Mechanical sorting- Ex:-Food contact
surfaces on conveyor belts, dum tank.
Contamination can be occurred in both ways.
Food contact surfaces on conveyor belts,
dump tanks etc. should be cleaned and
sanitized on a regular scheduled basis with
food contact surface approved cleaning
A 200 parts per million sodium hypochlorite
(bleach) solution is an excellent example of a
food contact surface sanitizer.
Contamination occurs via filthy choping boards,cutting utensil
Tools and field containers must
be kept clean. Wash and sanitize
these items before each use.
Sterilization: The primary object of sterilization is to destroy the
most heat resistant pathogenic spore forming organism. ExKnives, blades etc
Rub the working space surrounding with a disinfectant Ex:- 90%
Hands should be cleaned with a sanitizer.
Storing with unclean raw materials.
Using refrigerate which are not properly work.
Facilities used to store fresh produce should be cleaned and,
as necessary, disinfected.
When store inside refrigerator fresh produce should be kept
above the raw materials.
To inhibit microbial growth use appropriate temperatures (5
to -10 oC)
Store fresh cuts with proper packing.
If any breakage happen to package while
transporting contamination can be occurred.
Containers used to transport ready-to-eat
produce should be routinely cleaned and
Contamination controlling cont..
Equipping refrigerated transportation vehicles and
storage rooms with accurate temperature measuring
devices, preferably including a temperature recording
Placing fresh-cut produce products in storage facilities
and transportation vehicles in a manner that allows for
proper air circulation
Transporting and storing fresh-cut produce products in
vehicles and containers that are dedicated to carrying
food products and have been treated by a process
that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of
microorganisms of public health significance
Gloves, hairnets and clean smocks are should be
worn by packinghouse employees .
Adequate bathroom facilities and handwash
stations must be provided .
Shoe or boot cleaning stations may also be in
place to reduce the amount of field dirt and
contamination which enters the packing shed from
Employee training regarding sanitary food
handling practices should be done when an
employee is hired and reviewed before they begin
work each season.
Cross contamination routes….
Equipment, knives, cutting boards.
Storage containers .
Raw meat, poultry, and eggs.
Wearing gloves, aprons.
Worker hygine should be concerned.
materials, brushes, buckets, etc., can easily spread
Keep harvest containers clean to prevent crosscontamination of fresh produce
Animal manure and human fecal matter
represent a significant source of human
pathogens. A particularly dangerous pathogen,
Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella,
Therefore, the use of biosolids and manures,
including solid manure, manure slurries must
be closely managed to limit the potential for
Microorganisms from hands washed for the
recommended 20 seconds
Microorganisms from unwashed
hands after using the restroom
Suggestions for safety fresh cut
industry and consumption
Never add freshly prepared food to food already
on salad bars and self-service lines.
Change disposable gloves anytime the gloves
may have been contaminated or when changing
Do not rewash packaged produce labeled “readyto-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed.”
Establish procedures for inspecting and accepting
or rejecting incoming deliveries. Procedures
should include checking the condition of the fresh
produce and the transportation vehicles to make
sure specifications are met.
good agricultural practices must be
implemented in the growing and harvesting of
Provide toilets and hand washing facilities that
are equipped and maintained to enable
workers to achieve personal hygiene
Position signs in visible places to reinforce
personal hygiene requirements and monitor
workers for their compliance with the