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Final report "PathOrganic. Risks and Recommendations Regarding Human Pathogens in Organic Vegetable Production Chains"

Hackl, E.; Sessitsch, A.; Arthurson, V.; Baggesen, D.L.; Dalsgaard, A.; Friedel, J.K.; Hartmann, A.; Koller, M.; van Bruggen, A.H.C.; Widmer, F.; Wyss, G. and Zijlstra, C.A. (2012) Final report "PathOrganic. Risks and Recommendations Regarding Human Pathogens in Organic Vegetable Production Chains". .

[thumbnail of Final Report] Microsoft Word - English (Final Report)


PathOrganic assesses risks associated with the consumption of fresh and minimally processed vegetables due to the prevalence of bacterial human pathogens (e.g. Salmonella enterica, pathogenic E. coli, Campylobacter spp., Listeria monocytogenes) in organically grown plant produce. The project aims at evaluating whether organic production poses a risk on food safety and addresses the food chain by taking into consideration potential sources of pathogen transmission (e.g. animal manure). In addition, it evaluates whether organic production may reduce the risk of pathogen manifestation.
From a European perspective, vegetable-linked outbreaks are not well investigated. Within the PathOrganic project, surveys of organically grown vegetables are carried out in five European countries, and regionally different environmental and management factors are taken into consideration for performing risk assessment.
In order to carry out a meaningful survey and to choose appropriate experimental plans, a model for pathogen transfer to selected plants is built in work package 1 (WP 1) to describe relevant food chains. Based on this model sampling strategies and methodological adjustments are made. A questionnaire is set up to describe current management practices (WP 1). WP 2 of the project is dedicated to surveying the presence of food pathogens in organic plant produce. As a major part of the project, field surveys of organic farming systems are performed and vegetable plants are sampled in five European countries. The analysis of relevant parameters is done by the respective partners with the appropriate expertise. “Risk crops” and “risk factors” are identified and specific production procedures shall be investigated, leading to the determination of critical control points (CCPs). Factors suggesting a problem concerning food safety are subjected to more detailed analysis in WP3 by performing specifically targeted greenhouse and field experiments. These experiments allow analyzing critical environmental and management factors and at the same time enable to re-assess the critical control points. Finally, based on the results obtained in the previous WPs, in WP 4 recommendations will be provided for improving procedures which secure consumer-oriented food safety and the quality of certified organic vegetable food chains. Thus, project results shall enable producers and other stakeholders to prevent and better control plant produce-associated outbreaks.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:BÖLN, BOELN, BÖL, BOEL, FKZ 07OE002, CORE Organic, PathOrganic, bacterial human pathogens, food safety, vegetable production chains, animal manure
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > PathOrganic
Austria > Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)
Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Food > hygiene
Related Links:http://www.coreorganic.org/research/projects/pathorganic/index.html, http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de, http://www.bundesprogramm.de/fkz=07OE002, https://orgprints.org/cgi/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&keywords=07OE002&projects=BOEL&_order=bypublication&_action_search=Suchen
Deposited By: Hackl, Dr. Evelyn
ID Code:21197
Deposited On:15 Feb 2013 14:23
Last Modified:17 Apr 2013 09:48
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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