A risk assessment approach for fresh fruits
Sommaire de l'article
To describe the approach used in conducting a fit-for-purpose risk assessment of microbiological human pathogens associated with fresh fruit and the risk management recommendations made.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
A qualitative risk assessment for microbiological hazards in fresh fruit was carried out based on the Codex Alimentarius (Codex) framework, modified to consider multiple hazards and all fresh (whole) fruits. The assessment determines 14 significant bacterial, viral, protozoal and nematodal hazards associated with fresh produce, assesses the probable level of exposure from fresh fruit, concludes on the risk from each hazard, and considers and recommends risk management actions. A review of potential risk management options allowed the comparison of effectiveness with the potential exposure to each hazard.
Washing to a recommended protocol is an appropriate risk management action for the vast majority of consumption events, particularly when good agricultural and hygienic practices are followed and with the addition of refrigerated storage for low acid fruit. Additional safeguards are recommended for aggregate fruits with respect to the risk from protozoa.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:
The potentially complex process of assessing the risks of multiple hazards in multiple but similar commodities can be simplified in a qualitative assessment approach that employs the Codex methodology.