Improving the Microbial Safety and Quality of Locally Grown Produce in West Virginia by Adopting a Three-Step Wash Process with Antimicrobials Through Research and Extension

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On Demand

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Event Location

Location: On-Demand

Event Details

Short Description: Present the research and extension activities for applying triple wash to improve microbial safety for locally grown fresh produce in West Virginia.


This research/extension integrated project aims to validate the three-step wash with commercial antimicrobials to control foodborne pathogen surrogate and extend shelf life of locally grown fresh produce and guide locally small produce growers to apply this technology. Since high percentage of Salmonella and Listeria spp. were detected on fresh produce sold at West Virginia farmers markets as compared to the existing published data from other states, WV Small Farm Center encourages local produce growers to apply the three-step wash process with antimicrobial solutions to produce surfaces if their produce is eaten raw or grown close to the ground. The stakeholder (Preston County Workshop Inc., Reedsville, WV) is planning to apply three-step wash with antimicrobials in their produce processing line. Therefore, the aims are: 1) Evaluate the efficacy of commercial antimicrobials for reducing pathogen surrogate and extend the shelf life of fresh produce by a three-step wash process with antimicrobials in a local processing plant and conduct plant onsite training courses; 2) Evaluate the economic feasibility of adopting the three-step wash process by local produce growers though consumer surveys and cost-benefit analyses; 3) Expand the current produce safety (Good Agriculture Practices, Food Safety Modernization Act) training program (workshops and webinars) with the proposed three-step wash content and design extension activities to encourage small produce growers in WV to adopt the three-step wash method. Results will benefit the local governmental agencies as they prepare regulations to mitigate food safety risks associated with locally grown fresh produce in West Virginia.


This session is part of the Scientific Discovery Workgroup Research Promotion (Grant Project Awardee)