Wish Farms, a longtime Plant City, FL-based grower-shipper-supplier of strawberries and blueberries, showed commitment to advancements in food safety research by announcing its plan to donate $100,000 to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS).
The CPS research campaign focuses on prevention of foodborne illnesses and disease outbreaks in the produce industry. The goal is to narrow and potentially close the knowledge gap in order to prevent future devastating events.
“Foodborne illnesses not only pose a threat to the masses, but to the entire marketplace,” said Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms. “When a product is recalled, it causes a ripple effect costing the farmer all the way to the grocery store. It is imperative consumers are kept safe. The Center for Produce Safety facilitates important research benefiting the entire produce industry.”
According to Wishnatzki, Wish Farms will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years. Money will fund various research projects, including soil amendments, water irrigation, animal intrusion, wash water sanitation, pathogen transfer from food contact surfaces, as well as many other areas.
These topics will assist produce companies, and others along the supply chain, to better understand and control cross-contamination risks and protect public health. In addition, the Center for Produce Safety plans to help young, rising scientists work closely with senior investigators and scientists to inspire them to continue specializing in produce safety research.