( File photo )

The Center for Produce Safety will embark on another campaign in the next year to raise funds for the group’s food safety research efforts.

Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety, said the last round of fundraising was five years ago, and now the group is looking at fundraising that will propel the group for the next five years.

Fernandez-Fenaroli believes this round of fundraising will have the advantage of having a story to tell about the successes and accomplishments of CPS. 

“It is so much easier to tell (the story) today,” she said.

The group is in the planning stage of the fundraising effort.


Applied research

Going forward, she said more of the CPS research efforts will be applied research, making it easier to understand for non-scientists.

“When we announced our research priorities, we took (a look) at the supply chain, and we said, ‘Here’s what we want, the questions we’re asking, from the growing side, the harvest, and all the way down to retail,’” she said. 

“There will be a lot more effort to direct (research) to a specific segment,” she said.

The CPS 2020 Request for Proposal research priorities are:

  • Growing: a) Cyclospora control; b) Co-existence with animal agriculture;
  • Harvest: a) Cleaning and sanitation of harvest equipment; b) Cleaning and sanitation of harvest bins/containers;
  • Postharvest receiving, staging and cooling: a) Staging practices; b) Water quality in cooling;
  • Packing and processing: a) Water quality in packing and processing; b) Wash water validation; c) Wash water antimicrobial monitoring; d) Listeria management;
  • Shipping and distribution: Temperature control; and 
  • Retail and foodservice handling and use: Produce environment.

The initial deadline for proposals and required documents is Nov. 12.

The Center for Produce Safety also is funding research on water treatment for food safety, she said.

“If it was a perfect world and call for this research, we would have had five awards that covered the whole of the U.S.,” she said. 

“As it stands now, the award will apply to a large region,” Fernandez-Fenaroli said. 

Over time, more regions will be added to the research on water treatment, she said.

A full list of CPS-funded research projects and results of that research is available on the CPS website.

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