Moving Forward

Tomatoes were believed to be the source of the latest foodborne illness outbreak. At press time, however, FDA had dropped its tomato advisory and was pursuing fresh jalapeño peppers as the culprit.

Just how did consumers — growers’ ultimate customers — feel about tomatoes being pulled off store shelves, salad bars, and restaurants’ salads?

“Angry,” says Christine M. Bruhn, director of the Center for Consumer Research in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California-Davis.

“Consumers, in general, don’t have a good grasp on how a foodborne illness outbreak could occur in a healthy product, such as a vegetable or a fruit,” says Bruhn. “They think the outbreak occurred because someone carelessly made a mistake. Tomatoes are a popular food item, and they are a product people look forward to eating. Consumers are really put out when they can’t
eat [tomatoes].”

The Learning Curve

The bottom line is consumers need to learn that contamination of fresh produce can and does occur. “They think that the E. coli outbreak in spinach two years ago was an isolated incident,” explains Bruhn. “Most of the time, we are not growing in a controlled environment, and contamination can occur in a controlled environment, as well,” she adds.

So how do we make fresh produce safe? In the near future, Bruhn predicts that we will begin to see irradiation on fresh produce. “The FDA has had a petition for irradiation before them in the greens and fresh-cut area for about 10 years,” she says. “I think that consumers will say ‘yes’ to buying these products when they recognize that the [irradiation] symbol is a sign of value-added.”

Bruhn also points out that in actuality, there are very few foodborne illness outbreaks, and we have access to a “mass amount of wonderful fruits and vegetables.”

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Marco Rubio tours a Central Florida citrus grove with industry dignitaries
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted [Opinion]
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
U.S. Capitol Building FEATURE
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agricultural Issues
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
'Rave' is a cross between 'Honeycrisp' and an unreleased variety called ‘MonArk.' 'Rave' was bred by the University of Minnesota and will be grown and sold exclusively by Stemilt in the U.S. (Photo credit: Stemilt)
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes Consumers Will ‘Rave’ About
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
David Wiemann explains how the Scott Henry training system controls vigor with four canes instead of two. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In The Vineyard
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
A reddish “halo” surrounds the point of scale attachment on the fruit, under the skin.  (Photo credit: Art Agnello)
Fruits
September 26, 2016
San Jose Scale Is An Old Pest That Is A New Threat To Apple Growers
Growers see increase in infestations due to changes in chemical control programs. Read More
Florida Sugar Cane field
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Florida Sugarcane Industry Strengthening From Within
Pot sweetens with promotions for three executive staffers of the state’s Growers Cooperative. Read More
Closeup on a citrus blossom in Florida
Citrus Achievement Award
September 26, 2016
Hope Growing Around Bactericides As A Citrus Greening Solution
Citrus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna is optimistic about new approach to staving off HLB. Read More
34-749-rz
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Need To Know
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
embark cider works new york hard cider
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legislation To Bolster State’s Craft Beverage Industry
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
cracked earth
Farm Management
September 24, 2016
Water Woes Continue In Northeast
Hydrologist says this year’s conditions are bad but are part of a typical water cycle. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted…
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agric…
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes C…
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In Th…
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
Fruits
September 26, 2016
San Jose Scale Is An Old Pest That Is A …
Growers see increase in infestations due to changes in chemical control programs. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Florida Sugarcane Industry Strengthening…
Pot sweetens with promotions for three executive staffers of the state’s Growers Cooperative. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
September 26, 2016
Hope Growing Around Bactericides As A Ci…
Citrus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna is optimistic about new approach to staving off HLB. Read More
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Ne…
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legis…
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
Farm Management
September 24, 2016
Water Woes Continue In Northeast
Hydrologist says this year’s conditions are bad but are part of a typical water cycle. Read More
Berries
September 24, 2016
Time Is Now For Florida Blueberry Grower…
Coming off a challenging season, industry players must continue to adapt to curveballs thrown by Mother Nature and market forces. Read More
Potatoes
September 24, 2016
USDA To Extend Deregulation To Two Lines…
Developed by J.R. Simplot, the potatoes are resistant to late blight, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
USDA Approves Nonregulated Status For ‘A…
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announces an extension of deregulation to a line of genetically engineered (GE) Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
Growers Encouraged To Monitor Fruit Temp…
With early harvests, Randy Beaudry of Michigan State University says temperature monitoring is a must. Read More
Berries
September 23, 2016
What U.S. Consumers Think About Florida …
For growers, the good news is that shoppers like what you are serving up. But more can be done to whet appetites. Read More
Fruits
September 23, 2016
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Pressure Incr…
Scout and monitor your orchard to determine if control is needed, says Penn State University Extension. Read More
Citrus
September 22, 2016
Senate Committee Report Says WOTUS Refor…
A report issued from the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee says federal agencies overreach their authority to regulate Read More
Citrus
September 22, 2016
Citrus Tax Incentive A Big Step Closer T…
U.S. House vote ends in landslide of support for emergency legislation, which allows growers to immediately expense the cost of planting new trees. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]