Food safety and quality

Harnessing the knowledge of global experts to keep fruits and vegetables safe


Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and are protective against many chronic health conditions. Yet, fresh fruits and vegetables contaminated with foodborne pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses, protozoa, helminths) have resulted in numerous outbreaks of foodborne disease and trade disruptions around the globe.

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) convened a meeting this year to compile and analyse the relevant scientific data and evidence on preventing and controlling the microbiological hazards in fresh fruits and vegetables, including pathogenic E. coli in leafy vegetables. The scientific advice and expert recommendations generated from this meeting will contribute to the development of guidelines and codes of practices for the prevention and control of microbiological hazards in fresh and minimally processed fresh produce.  

The experts defined the scope of their discussing then reviewed the food safety concerns related to fresh, ready-to-eat and minimally processed fruits and vegetables.

They examined the entire process from primary production in open fields and protected facilities through to minimal processing, transportation, distribution and point-of-sale and identified problem areas and subsequent measures to address and avoid potential microbiological contamination. Elizabeth A. Bihn chaired the expert meeting, and Pascal Delaquis served as rapporteur.

See the key topics of discussion and outcomes in the summary report here: The summary report of JEMRA meeting on the Prevention and Control of Microbiological Hazards in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.


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