Food-Safety Concerns Sought for Produce Industry

Clint Thompson Citrus, Florida, Top Posts

UF Glow variety of citrus. Photo taken 11-17-17

The University of Florida (UF) and Rutgers University are teaming up to find out what food-safety issues are the biggest concerns across the produce industry. Members of the produce industry are invited to participate in an anonymous online survey that will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Michelle Danyluk said the survey is part of research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative. “We want to make sure the things we spend our time researching are things that are … really meaningful for industry, things that can help bring clarity or find solutions to their biggest concerns,” Danyluk said.

“To date there are no documented outbreaks of foodborne disease related to fresh citrus, and most fresh market citrus growers and packers do a good job with their food-safety programs,” Danyluk said. “But food safety is still something that requires constant attention, and no one knows better than the industry what the issues are. This survey is really designed to find out what the industry’s top concerns are. What food-safety issues keep you up at night?”

The survey, which should be completed by the end of December, is available here.

Those taking the survey will be asked to rank their top five risk-management areas that need improvement in the produce industry. The survey will provide research data that will be used to guide future industry surveys and resource development specific to food safety. 

The first survey question, the informed consent, must be answered “yes” in order to proceed through the survey. The informed consent provides more details about the nature of the survey, the handling of any information collected, and contact information. Anyone involved in the produce industry who is at least 18 years of age may take the survey.