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A Partnership: Garden to Table

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  1. A Partnership: Garden to Table Using the Master Gardener Network to Educate Home Gardeners About Food Safety Project Funded by CSREES/USDA. Project 2003-5111001713

  2. Garden to Table: Food Safety Practices of the Home Gardener HOME GARDENER FOOD SAFETY TRAINING FOR MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEERS

  3. Garden to Table: Food Safety Practices of the Home Gardener • 4-year, USDA funded project • 5 New England States: Connecticut Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Vermont • Research and Education • Master Gardeners essential to success of all facets of the program

  4. Objective of Program • Microbiological safety hazards commercial vegetables is documented. • Educational programs for commercial producers – none for home gardeners. • Help home gardeners apply “Good Agricultural Practices” or GAP to minimize microbial food safety hazards from “Garden To Table”.

  5. What Are Good Agricultural Practices?Why Are They Important?

  6. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP): Food Safety Program • Original target: Commercial growers/harvesters • A voluntary sanitation and food safety program for producers of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program is based on the Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits And Vegetables produced by the FDA and USDA in 1998.

  7. Components of the Commercial Good Agricultural Practices Program • Water and Water Quality • Manure and Biosolids • Field Sanitation • Worker Health and Hygiene • Sanitary Facilities • Packing Facility Sanitation • Transportation • Traceback

  8. Produce Safety Concerns: Why now? • Consumption of fresh produce steadily increasing. • Increases in the number of produce associated with foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. • Produce associated outbreaks per year more than doubled from 1973-1987 and 1988-1998. • A variety of fruits and vegetables implicated--domestic and imported • CDC estimates, 1990’s, 12% foodborne outbreaks linked to fresh produce. * • What does this have to do with home gardening? * FDA/CFSAN. 2004. Produce safety from production to consumption:2004 action plan to minimize foodborne illness associated with fresh produce consumption. http://www,cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/prodpla2.html

  9. Good Agricultural Practices and the Home Gardener • Adapt to Home Gardeners - many issues same • Water safety • Domestic/Wild animals • Use of compost • Use of manure • Personal hygiene/sanitation • Post-harvest handling and temperature control • Goal: reduce microbial risks in fresh fruits and vegetables — making produce safer. • Preventfoodborne illness • Integrate food safety into gardening practices

  10. Foodborne Illness and the Consumer • In 1999, 29% US households participated in vegetable gardening - up 19% over the previous 5 years - 31 million households (Butterfield, 2000). • Underreporting of foodborne outbreaks with estimated 50% of all foodborne illnesses from exposure pathogens at home (Doyle, et. al., 2000). • Consumers not likely to consider food from own homes as the source of illness (Redmond and Griffith, 2003). Butterfield, BW. 2000. National Home Gardening Survey 1999-2000. Doyle, MP and others. 2000 Dairy , Food and Environ. Sanitation. 20(5):330-337. Redmond,EC and Griffith, CJ. 2003. J. Food Protection. 66(1):130-161.

  11. What do we need know? Is there a lack of food safety knowledge related to produce grown by home gardeners?

  12. #66 # What Do We Know: The Survey • 5,000 surveys mailed to households of fruit and vegetable gardeners in NE. Over 800 answered and returned. • Assessed food safety knowledge of and attitudes regarding growing and handling of produce by home gardeners. • 66 questions on food safety topics for all aspects of gardening and post-harvest handling

  13. Survey Results • Survey results showed key food safety areas that gardeners need more information about to minimize the risk of foodborne illness: -proper composting and manure application, maintaining water safety, and post-harvest handling. • Results indicated lack of food safety knowledge among home gardeners regardless of location, age, education and income. • Supports need for outreach programming and training.

  14. Potential Sources of Contamination for Home-grown Produce • Soil • Water • Manure/Compost • Wild and Domestic Animals • Personal Hygiene/Sanitation • Containers • Wash and Rinse Water/Inadequate drying • Post-harvest handling and temperature control

  15. Structured Interviews Purpose: • A “follow-up” to the regional survey. • To probe key food safety topics to better understand why there was a lack of knowledge. • Information from the on-site interview would help to develop effective training resources.

  16. Master Gardener The On-Site, “Structured” Interview:How Did It Work? • Conducted by trained Master Gardeners • Recruitment of Home Gardeners • Those who answered the original survey and volunteered. • Solicitation through hotlines, advertisements and/or cooperative extension outreach activities. • The interviews were done at the gardener’s home using a script and questions.

  17. Structured Interviews How many home gardeners participated? • Connecticut: 18 • New Hampshire: 19 • Maine: 20 • Rhode Island: 18 • Vermont: 19 TOTAL: 94

  18. Structured Interviews Results: Overall Food Safety • Many home gardeners did not understand that contamination from harmful bacteria could come from a variety of sources in their garden. • Chemicals viewed as the bigger problem.

  19. Structured Interviews Results: Overall Food Safety Issues for Outreach Education • “Disconnect” between the realization that bacteria could be on produce and the source (e.g. soil). Indications that concerns about food safety less since produce from their gardens. • Produce safety and chemical contamination a prevailing theme – must shift priority.

  20. Structured Interview Results:Soil Preparation and Compost/Manure Application • Many composted but did not use temperature to determine completion - even though, when probed, thought it was important. • Of those that used fresh manure, only a minority knew proper application/harvesting timeframe.

  21. Structured Interview Results:Soil Preparation and Compost/manure Application Issues for Outreach Education • Temperature and time are critical for pathogen destruction. • Improper application of fresh manure could lead to illness. • Use of Good Agricultural Practices for home gardening.

  22. Structured Interview Results: Planting/Growing Organic gardening • Many respondents considered themselves organic gardeners. • Why? • Safer, no chemical • Tastier, healthier. • Did not connect microbial issues with organically grown produce.

  23. Structured Interview Results: Planting/Growing • Water Safety • Many respondents considered well water safer than municipal. • Majority do not view water a source of disease-causing bacteria. • Most did not know about • back-flow protectors

  24. Structured Interview Results: Planting/Growing Issues for Outreach Education • Microbial safety issues for organic and conventional gardening are the same. • Certain chemical derivatives (e.g. botanical origin) can be used for organic (http//:www. ams.usda.gov/NOP/NOPhome.html) • Water could be a source of microbial contamination. • Awareness of Good Agricultural Practices

  25. Structured Interview ResultsHarvesting • Most gardeners “taste” their produce as they pick. • Soil is only dirt and does not contain bacteria. • Bruised or damaged fruit or vegetables were considered more likely to cause foodborne illness due to more susceptibility to bacteria, insects and/or mold.

  26. Structured Interview ResultsHarvesting Issues for Outreach Education • Bacteria are everywhere in the gardening environment. • Handling fruit and vegetables at harvest is part of Good Agricultural Practices.

  27. Structured Interview Results:Post-Harvest Handling Washing • Many gardeners washed produce in cold water after harvest to preserve. Storing • Most stored harvest in refrigerator • Room temperature storage certain produce (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, zucchini and onions). Cross-contamination • Many understood this concept.

  28. Structured Interview Results:Post-Harvest Handling Issues for Outreach Education • Cold wash water could cause to food safety problems. • Washing prior to storage without thorough drying. • Washing controversy – when to wash??? • Which produce should be refrigerated for safety and quality. • Eating unwashed produce. • Safe preservation techniques. • Integration of food safety principles into handling practices.

  29. Outreach Education for Food Safety: Master Gardener Training • Train-the-trainer program for Master Gardeners • Advanced training for food safety for home gardeners of fruits and vegetables: Garden to Table • Training for current issues • Training on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) principles -science behind the guidelines • Introduction to presentations and other educational resources for use by Master Gardeners at a variety of venues

  30. Food Safety Review

  31. Sight Smell Taste You won’t spot unsafe food by using your senses From: http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/pizza.shtml

  32. Foodborne illness: How you get sick from food5 Steps Illness Ingestion Mishandling Contamination Food

  33. Foodborne Illness Symptoms • Nausea • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Headache • Fever A “tiny taste” will not protect you … … as few as 10-100 bacteria could make you sick!

  34. Foodborne Illness:People at Greatest Risk Infants & Children Pregnant women Elderly People with weakened immune systems

  35. Foodborne Illness: Dangers • Cases: 76 million per year • Hospital: 325,000 per year • Deaths: 5,000 per year • Cost: $10-83 billion per year* * FDA/CFSAN. 2004. Produce safety from production to consumption:2004 action plan to minimize foodborne illness associated with fresh produce consumption. http://www,cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/prodpla2.html

  36. Foodborne Illness:Most likely sources • Potentially Hazardous Foods • Ready to Eat Foods

  37. Food Safety Hazards:3 Types of Contamination Physical Chemical Biological Plastic Glass Metal Wood Bandages Jewelry and other personal items Allergens Pesticides Sanitizers Lubricants Parasites Viruses Bacteria

  38. Chemical Food Safety Hazards • Use pesticides according to manufacturer’s directions • Keep chemicals in original labeled containers • Check well water for chemical hazards • Toxins from mold - e.g. patulin in apples

  39. Biological Food Safety Hazards What are the differences? • Parasites • Viruses • Bacteria Cryptosporidium parvum Norwalk virus Salmonella spp.

  40. Sources of Biological Contamination • Animals (wild and domestic, and manure) • People • Environment

  41. Source of harmful bacteria/viruses in fruits/vegetables Animal/human intestinal tract • Salmonella • E.coli O157:H7 Human • Shigella • Hepatitis A virus • Norovirus • Staphylococcus Environment • Listeria • Clostridium • E.coli O157:H7 Water • Most of the above

  42. What do bacteria need to grow? Essentials of Food Safety & Sanitation: Page(s) 32 - 39

  43. To Grow, Bacteria Need: Food • High in protein or carbohydrates • High in moisture • Low in acidity

  44. To Grow, Bacteria Need: Certain pH (Acidity) Alkaline Acid 0 1.0 2.03.0 4.04.65.0 6.0 6.4 7.08.0 8.5 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 Distilled Water Egg White Commercial Mayonnaise Apples Chicken Milk Corn Soda Crackers Beef, Veal Pork Carrots, Pumpkins Sweet Potatoes Limes Pickles Vinegar

  45. Fruits and vegetables To Grow, Bacteria Need: Moisture Water Activity Minimum needed for bacteria to grow 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.67 0.70.75 0.80.850.9 0.92 0.95 0.98 1.0 Meats Poultry Dry Egg Noodles Crackers Jams & Jellies Distilled Water Potentially Hazardous Foods Flours Candy

  46. To Grow, Bacteria Need: The Right Temperature 140 º F “Danger Zone” 40 ºF

  47. 95ºF 50ºF Number of Salmonella per gram 44ºF 42ºF The effects of time and temperature on bacterial growth:

  48. Potential Sources of Contamination for Home-grown Produce • Soil • Water • Manure/Compost • Wild and Domestic Animals • Personal Hygiene/Sanitation • Containers • Wash and Rinse Water/Inadequate drying • Post-harvest handling and temperature control

  49. Key Food Safety Principles for Home-grown Fruits and Vegetables • Practice safe soil preparation prior to planting • Practice safe garden maintenance during planting and growing of fruits/vegetables • Practice safe harvest and post-harvest handling including: • Good personal hygiene • Time and temperature control • Cross-contamination prevention

  50. Five Steps to Food Safe Home Gardening • Step 1 - Preparing the garden for planting • Step 2 - Maintaining the garden (planting/growing) • Step 3 - Harvesting garden produce • Step 4 - Storing garden produce • Step 5 – Preparing and serving garden produce