Including growers in the “food safety” conversation: enhancing the design and implementation of food safety programming based on farm and marketing needs of fresh fruit and vegetable producers
Experts identified water quality, manure, good handling practices (including personal hygiene and equipment sanitation), and traceability as critical farm problem areas that, if addressed, are likely to decrease risk associated with microbial contamination of fresh produce from all scales of agriculture. However, the diverse nature of production strategies used by produce farmers presents multiple options for addressing foodborne illness issues while simultaneously creating potential complications. We use a mental models methodology to enhance our understanding of the underlying factors and assumptions of small, medium, and large produce growers that influence their decision-making processes for contamination prevention and control. This empirical evidence demonstrates how challenges and opportunities to food safety are related to the scale of production and marketing strategies. We believe that refining the development of standards and existing extension and outreach food safety programs are important to both consumer protection and supporting agricultural communities. Additionally, this approach will help develop and refine food safety programs that will result in empirically grounded recommendations based on identified grower information needs. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
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Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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