White Papers and Technical Resources
Papaya Best Practices and Food Safety Checklist
Following outbreaks in summer 2019, United Fresh and the Texas International Produce Association coordinated multiple meetings with the Mexican papaya industry, supply chain members, researchers, and representatives from FDA and the Mexican National Service of Agro-Food Health, Safety, and Quality (SENASICA) to address the food safety challenges associated with the production and handling of papaya. Commodity-specific measures were desired, similar to the approaches taken by the tomato and leafy greens industries, to align the entire growing and packing industry of papayas in Mexico under the same food safety protocols.
The first edition of the resulting food safety best practices, published in April 2020, may be downloaded below in both English and Spanish. The webinar discussing this document can be found below.
In November 2020, the USDA-ARS developed a paper called “Salmonella inactivation and sponge/microfiber mediated cross-contamination during papaya wash with chlorine or peracetic acid as sanitizer”. This research supports the best practices contained in the guidelines. That document can be found here.
Continuing in the 2020 efforts, a papaya safety checklist was developed in May 2021 to supplement the Best Practices Guide and to serve as a self-audit that growers may use to assess their existing practices. This checklist may be adapted for use as a 3rd party audit addendum accompanying holistic GAP programs such as the Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard.
Download the Papaya Safety Checklist (English)
Download la lista de verificación de inocuidad de la papaya (Español)
Watch Papaya Safety Checklist Webinar (English)
Watch la lista de verificación de inocuidad de la papaya (Español)
United Fresh is pleased to share the release of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain (Third Edition).
Microbiological Testing of Fresh Produce
In 2010 the United Fresh Food Safety Council developed a White Paper on considerations in developing and using microbiological sampling and testing procedures if used as part of a food safety program for fresh fruit and vegetable products.
Most recently, a subgroup of the council began discussing misconceptions, and opportunities, associated with field sampling. This document will be updated as it continues to evolve.
The subgroup also used outbreak information provided by FDA to reverse engineer a preharvest sampling plan that, with assumptions, could have detected the high level of contamination that presumably caused the outbreak. Visual illustrations and the background calculations are provided to support the explanation of this thought experiment.
Download the Reverse Engineered PreHarvest Sampling Plan Thought Experiment
Download the Visual Illustrations for the Reverse Engineered PreHarvest Sampling Plan Thought Experiment
Download the Calculations that Support the Reverse Engineered PreHarvest Sampling Plan Thought Experiment
Time-Temp Control Resources
The fresh produce industry lacks a kill step and therefore must rely on multiple hurdles to reduce the risk of illness associated with these products. The reliance on temperature as a control is the subject of much debate, and new regulations and associated guidance documents trigger additional questions regarding the instances in which temperature control must be specified and monitored lest food safety be compromised.
For any questions on these resources or to report broken links, contact Katie McGowan, Manager, Food Safety Programs, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (202) 303-3402.