Sécurité sanitaire et qualité des aliments

Sprouts: A mighty food safety challenge


Sprouts represent a unique food safety challenge because of the warm, moist and nutrient-rich growing environment, which is also ideal for foodborne pathogens to thrive and multiply. Therefore, it is especially important that the seeds used for sprouting are free from pathogens and to prevent the introduction of any contaminants anywhere during the sprouting-to-consumption continuum. 

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) recently published a technical report on the prevention and control of microbiological hazards in sprouts. Experts reviewed publicly available literature, guidelines from competent authorities and industry associations to assess the current state of knowledge on controlling microbiological hazards in sprouts. They identified and characterized the pathogens associated with sprouts and potential routes of contamination. The experts also evaluated intervention measures applicable at different points along the sprout supply chain. The report emphasizes the control measures most effective in reducing incidents of foodborne illnesses linked to sprouts.

Download the report here


Photo: ©FAO/Justin Jin

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