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Studies Find Reusable Produce Containers Often Contaminated

Reusable plastic containers used by farmers to ship fresh produce from farms to grocery stores have gained wide usage in the last decade, effectively replacing corrugated boxes with a more environmentally friendly alternative.

But two studies — one in Canada and one in the U.S. — have found serious problems with the general sanitation and cleanliness of those containers, raising concerns about possible food safety risks. They say the containers — which some retailers now require growers to use — could transfer pathogens from contaminated produce onto clean produce when not sanitized thoroughly.

First, in 2013 and again this year, Canadian researchers found evidence of fecal bacteria left over in containers said to have been sanitized. University of Guelph food science professor Keith Warriner, Ph.D., found contamination of innocuous strains of coliform E. coli on containers, suggesting that the company’s sanitation process was inadequate, he said.

Judging the cleanliness of the containers using U.K. food safety standards of food surfaces, Warriner determined that 43 percent of containers failed sanitary standards when inspected this year.

Now, in California, a soon-to-be-published companion study found similar results. University of California Davis extension research specialist Trevor Suslow, Ph.D., found that a “significant number” of produce containers exceeded reasonable expectations for cleanliness and failed to meet expected microbiological standards for surface sanitation.

Over a six-day period, Suslow’s team inspected produce containers after they had been sanitized but before they had been given to growers to pack for shipments. The system is arranged so that growers rent out the containers from the manufacturer and empty containers are sent back to the manufacturer to undergo a sanitation process before being packed with produce once again.

But Suslow and Warriner want to raise awareness in the produce industry that these sanitation processes might not be getting the job done.

“Although we’re aware there’s a cleaning and sanitizing process, it appears to be inconsistent and we found a number of indicators of uncleanliness in our study,” Suslow told Food Safety News.

After swabbing container surfaces for bacterial indicators of uncleanliness, Suslow found 38 percent of samples to carry 100,000 bacterial cells, while eight percent had more than one million. That, he said, wasn’t acceptable.

One problem with the containers is that they have hinges and other pinch-points where food can get caught and stay trapped for a long time. The studies found numerous instances of mold and spoilage in containers that had undergone the sanitization process.

While no cases of illness have been directly connected to produce containers, Suslow said that it would be very difficult to trace an illness back to something as unsuspecting as a plastic container.

“Taking a systems approach to produce safety, while there may be no recognized outbreaks linked to containers, we see a lot of sporadic illnesses where you never learn the cause,” he said.

Warriner said that his study also found a noticeable increase in broken containers between the first and second years of his study. Unfortunately, he said, growers are sometimes in a position where they’re eager to take any available container, as it’s the only way they can ship out product.

In the Canadian study, Warriner found that the company providing containers to growers in Canada did not have a washing facility in the country. As a result, the containers were supposed to be shipped back to Chicago to undergo cleaning after delivery.

In the case of the unclean containers returning to Canada, Warriner could only speculate as to what was occurring:

“There’s one of three things going on,” he said. “One, they’re going to Chicago but not being sanitized; two, they’re not going to Chicago; or three, they’re going to Chicago, being sanitized, and somehow meeting the cleanliness standards of the company.”

For now, the companies have no cleanliness standards on public record, Warriner said.

Warriner also questioned the silence of retailers on the topic.

“What’s interesting is that although retailers have very strong scrutiny about food products, they haven’t really paid attention to the food safety concern here,” he said.

Another problem Warriner found: sticker labels from previous produce shipments would often remain stuck inside the containers. In one case, a label for products grown in Mexico made its way to a farm in Canada.

With two independent studies raising such similar concerns about reusable containers, Suslow said that he hopes the container manufacturers will recalculate their cleaning and sanitization processes. In the meantime, growers and handlers should implement their own procedures for cleaning the containers, he said, and possibly testing the containers with rapid bacterial swabs themselves.

Suslow said that because it’s impossible to completely control for contamination when growing produce in an open environment, fresh produce shouldn’t come into direct contact with reusable containers.

“Contamination of these containers is something you should be able to control, and if you can’t, you have to start looking for other options,” he said.

Photo of soiled plant material inside a reusable produce container courtesy of Trevor Suslow.

Food Safety News

Studies Find Reusable Produce Containers Often Contaminated

Reusable plastic containers used by farmers to ship fresh produce from farms to grocery stores have gained wide usage in the last decade, effectively replacing corrugated boxes with a more environmentally friendly alternative.

But two studies — one in Canada and one in the U.S. — have found serious problems with the general sanitation and cleanliness of those containers, raising concerns about possible food safety risks. They say the containers — which some retailers now require growers to use — could transfer pathogens from contaminated produce onto clean produce when not sanitized thoroughly.

First, in 2013 and again this year, Canadian researchers found evidence of fecal bacteria left over in containers said to have been sanitized. University of Guelph food science professor Keith Warriner, Ph.D., found contamination of innocuous strains of coliform E. coli on containers, suggesting that the company’s sanitation process was inadequate, he said.

Judging the cleanliness of the containers using U.K. food safety standards of food surfaces, Warriner determined that 43 percent of containers failed sanitary standards when inspected this year.

Now, in California, a soon-to-be-published companion study found similar results. University of California Davis extension research specialist Trevor Suslow, Ph.D., found that a “significant number” of produce containers exceeded reasonable expectations for cleanliness and failed to meet expected microbiological standards for surface sanitation.

Over a six-day period, Suslow’s team inspected produce containers after they had been sanitized but before they had been given to growers to pack for shipments. The system is arranged so that growers rent out the containers from the manufacturer and empty containers are sent back to the manufacturer to undergo a sanitation process before being packed with produce once again.

But Suslow and Warriner want to raise awareness in the produce industry that these sanitation processes might not be getting the job done.

“Although we’re aware there’s a cleaning and sanitizing process, it appears to be inconsistent and we found a number of indicators of uncleanliness in our study,” Suslow told Food Safety News.

After swabbing container surfaces for bacterial indicators of uncleanliness, Suslow found 38 percent of samples to carry 100,000 bacterial cells, while eight percent had more than one million. That, he said, wasn’t acceptable.

One problem with the containers is that they have hinges and other pinch-points where food can get caught and stay trapped for a long time. The studies found numerous instances of mold and spoilage in containers that had undergone the sanitization process.

While no cases of illness have been directly connected to produce containers, Suslow said that it would be very difficult to trace an illness back to something as unsuspecting as a plastic container.

“Taking a systems approach to produce safety, while there may be no recognized outbreaks linked to containers, we see a lot of sporadic illnesses where you never learn the cause,” he said.

Warriner said that his study also found a noticeable increase in broken containers between the first and second years of his study. Unfortunately, he said, growers are sometimes in a position where they’re eager to take any available container, as it’s the only way they can ship out product.

In the Canadian study, Warriner found that the company providing containers to growers in Canada did not have a washing facility in the country. As a result, the containers were supposed to be shipped back to Chicago to undergo cleaning after delivery.

In the case of the unclean containers returning to Canada, Warriner could only speculate as to what was occurring:

“There’s one of three things going on,” he said. “One, they’re going to Chicago but not being sanitized; two, they’re not going to Chicago; or three, they’re going to Chicago, being sanitized, and somehow meeting the cleanliness standards of the company.”

For now, the companies have no cleanliness standards on public record, Warriner said.

Warriner also questioned the silence of retailers on the topic.

“What’s interesting is that although retailers have very strong scrutiny about food products, they haven’t really paid attention to the food safety concern here,” he said.

Another problem Warriner found: sticker labels from previous produce shipments would often remain stuck inside the containers. In one case, a label for products grown in Mexico made its way to a farm in Canada.

With two independent studies raising such similar concerns about reusable containers, Suslow said that he hopes the container manufacturers will recalculate their cleaning and sanitization processes. In the meantime, growers and handlers should implement their own procedures for cleaning the containers, he said, and possibly testing the containers with rapid bacterial swabs themselves.

Suslow said that because it’s impossible to completely control for contamination when growing produce in an open environment, fresh produce shouldn’t come into direct contact with reusable containers.

“Contamination of these containers is something you should be able to control, and if you can’t, you have to start looking for other options,” he said.

Photo of soiled plant material inside a reusable produce container courtesy of Trevor Suslow.

Food Safety News

Studies Find Reusable Produce Containers Often Contaminated

Reusable plastic containers used by farmers to ship fresh produce from farms to grocery stores have gained wide usage in the last decade, effectively replacing corrugated boxes with a more environmentally friendly alternative.

But two studies — one in Canada and one in the U.S. — have found serious problems with the general sanitation and cleanliness of those containers, raising concerns about possible food safety risks. They say the containers — which some retailers now require growers to use — could transfer pathogens from contaminated produce onto clean produce when not sanitized thoroughly.

First, in 2013 and again this year, Canadian researchers found evidence of fecal bacteria left over in containers said to have been sanitized. University of Guelph food science professor Keith Warriner, Ph.D., found contamination of innocuous strains of coliform E. coli on containers, suggesting that the company’s sanitation process was inadequate, he said.

Judging the cleanliness of the containers using U.K. food safety standards of food surfaces, Warriner determined that 43 percent of containers failed sanitary standards when inspected this year.

Now, in California, a soon-to-be-published companion study found similar results. University of California Davis extension research specialist Trevor Suslow, Ph.D., found that a “significant number” of produce containers exceeded reasonable expectations for cleanliness and failed to meet expected microbiological standards for surface sanitation.

Over a six-day period, Suslow’s team inspected produce containers after they had been sanitized but before they had been given to growers to pack for shipments. The system is arranged so that growers rent out the containers from the manufacturer and empty containers are sent back to the manufacturer to undergo a sanitation process before being packed with produce once again.

But Suslow and Warriner want to raise awareness in the produce industry that these sanitation processes might not be getting the job done.

“Although we’re aware there’s a cleaning and sanitizing process, it appears to be inconsistent and we found a number of indicators of uncleanliness in our study,” Suslow told Food Safety News.

After swabbing container surfaces for bacterial indicators of uncleanliness, Suslow found 38 percent of samples to carry 100,000 bacterial cells, while eight percent had more than one million. That, he said, wasn’t acceptable.

One problem with the containers is that they have hinges and other pinch-points where food can get caught and stay trapped for a long time. The studies found numerous instances of mold and spoilage in containers that had undergone the sanitization process.

While no cases of illness have been directly connected to produce containers, Suslow said that it would be very difficult to trace an illness back to something as unsuspecting as a plastic container.

“Taking a systems approach to produce safety, while there may be no recognized outbreaks linked to containers, we see a lot of sporadic illnesses where you never learn the cause,” he said.

Warriner said that his study also found a noticeable increase in broken containers between the first and second years of his study. Unfortunately, he said, growers are sometimes in a position where they’re eager to take any available container, as it’s the only way they can ship out product.

In the Canadian study, Warriner found that the company providing containers to growers in Canada did not have a washing facility in the country. As a result, the containers were supposed to be shipped back to Chicago to undergo cleaning after delivery.

In the case of the unclean containers returning to Canada, Warriner could only speculate as to what was occurring:

“There’s one of three things going on,” he said. “One, they’re going to Chicago but not being sanitized; two, they’re not going to Chicago; or three, they’re going to Chicago, being sanitized, and somehow meeting the cleanliness standards of the company.”

For now, the companies have no cleanliness standards on public record, Warriner said.

Warriner also questioned the silence of retailers on the topic.

“What’s interesting is that although retailers have very strong scrutiny about food products, they haven’t really paid attention to the food safety concern here,” he said.

Another problem Warriner found: sticker labels from previous produce shipments would often remain stuck inside the containers. In one case, a label for products grown in Mexico made its way to a farm in Canada.

With two independent studies raising such similar concerns about reusable containers, Suslow said that he hopes the container manufacturers will recalculate their cleaning and sanitization processes. In the meantime, growers and handlers should implement their own procedures for cleaning the containers, he said, and possibly testing the containers with rapid bacterial swabs themselves.

Suslow said that because it’s impossible to completely control for contamination when growing produce in an open environment, fresh produce shouldn’t come into direct contact with reusable containers.

“Contamination of these containers is something you should be able to control, and if you can’t, you have to start looking for other options,” he said.

Photo of soiled plant material inside a reusable produce container courtesy of Trevor Suslow.

Food Safety News

Consolidation making executive jobs harder to find

With ongoing consolidation in a slow-growing industry, jobs for supermarket executives just aren’t as plentiful as they once were. And though e-commerce offers a promising alternative track, not all brick-and-mortar jobs are built for the virtual world. These phenomena are reflected in the annual survey of supermarket industry executive salaries as prepared exclusively for SN by the executive search form Austin-Michael LP. In an interview with SN, , managing partner at Austin-Michael …

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Supermarket News

The Seven Worst Things to Find in Your Refrigerator or Ice Machine

Health inspectors get to see the worst of the worst when it comes to commercial kitchens. They see the little extras that are left behind the refrigerator, they notice the smells in the walk-in freezers, and they notice the slime inside of the ice bin. We’ve taken our cues from the health inspectors and compiled some of the worst things that you can find in your own appliances.

1. Roaches

Roaches and other creepy crawlies are attracted to places where there’s both food and water. This makes the kitchen the perfect place to hang out since food, shelter, water and warmth are available in abundance. They have no problems making nests inside and around appliances, hiding away from surface cleanings.

What should you do?

Start off easy and remove all of the food sources within your kitchen. This means clearing up crumbs, sweeping down near the backs of machines, and moving the machines enough to clear behind them. Don’t be afraid to lay out some discreet traps.

2. Rodents

Rats and mice can be a horrible thing to find in your cooler, your ice machine, or other appliance. Having rodents means that they have access to your place, as well as a source of food, water and warmth. Remove these or make it harder for them to come in, and you should be able to get rid of the problem.

What should you do?

Like the roaches and the other creepy crawlies, it’s time to remove the food sources. Make sure that all of your food is appropriately covered, sealed, and stored. Once it’s full, immediately move your trash bin to the dumpster to be hauled away.

3. Slime

Slime, mold, and other bacterial growth can really put a damper on your day. These types of hazards don’t merely grow in ice machines and refrigerators. Basically, anywhere that makes it easy for bacteria to grow, slime and mold can grow.

What should you do?

Make sure that there’s a disinfectant in your cleaner. Wipe down all possible surfaces on which slime can grow, being very careful to wear gloves in the process. Look into an antimicrobial filter for your equipment, as well as antimicrobial treatment in the plastic itself.

4. Bad Temperatures

The biggest reason that you keep your food cold is that, by chilling it, it slows down the growth of bacteria and other hazards. As those refrigerators and other cooling appliances get older, their capability of chilling goods diminishes unless it’s wholly and properly maintained. Bad temperatures can be a result of many things.

What should you do?

First of all, knowing is half the battle. At least once a month, make sure that the temperature that your appliance announces is the actual temperature within the unit. If there’s a significant difference, the best thing you can do is to have professional maintenance done on the machine. Remember, it’s often cheaper to get service than to get a new machine.

5. Detritus

Every time that we touch something with our bare hands, something gets left behind. It might be skin cells, it might be bacteria from not washing our hands after using the bathroom, or it might be a combination of things. These materials get left behind in our ice machines and our refrigerators, potentially causing serious problems down the road.

What should you do?

Wash and sanitize your hands before handling anything within your appliance. If you’re not able to wash and sanitize your hands, put on gloves to protect the appliance from errant skin flakes and other detritus.

6. Improperly Labeled Items

Improperly labeled items or things that aren’t labeled at all can be a real hazard to your food safety. Unfortunately, it happens all the time in our home kitchens, as well as our commercial kitchens. How many times have you seen your friend’s fridge go from wonderland to science project? We’d definitely be on the lookout for that.

What should you do?

Take out everything that’s in your fridge or appliance. If you’re not able to remember the exact date that you put it in there, throw it away. If something is in there and it’s wrapped in newspaper from 1980, chances are it’s not good anymore. Labeling and food storage are two of the most important things to remember for your kitchen.

7. Unidentified Standing Sludge

Sometimes it’s not clear what you’ve found inside the ice machine or the refrigerator, but you are pretty sure that it’s probably not supposed to be there. Having sludge in anything is considered to be bad, and collecting it in your fridge or ice machine is right out.

What should you do?

If you’ve got unidentified standing sludge in your appliance, you might want to get some serious cleaning materials to wash it out. Start with the small natural cleaners and then escalate. Make sure that you bring plenty of washrags to the scene and scrub like a mad person.

If you have any of these items (or creepy crawlies) within your ice machines, refrigerators, or dishwashers, there’s definitely hope. You can take down most slime, bacteria and mold with disinfectants. You can scare away the rats and roaches by clearing out the open food and making sure that you’ve got some food-safe traps in the area. Any steps that you take toward getting these out will lead to a cleaner, happier and safer kitchen and home.

Food Safety News

The Seven Worst Things to Find in Your Refrigerator or Ice Machine

Health inspectors get to see the worst of the worst when it comes to commercial kitchens. They see the little extras that are left behind the refrigerator, they notice the smells in the walk-in freezers, and they notice the slime inside of the ice bin. We’ve taken our cues from the health inspectors and compiled some of the worst things that you can find in your own appliances.

1. Roaches

Roaches and other creepy crawlies are attracted to places where there’s both food and water. This makes the kitchen the perfect place to hang out since food, shelter, water and warmth are available in abundance. They have no problems making nests inside and around appliances, hiding away from surface cleanings.

What should you do?

Start off easy and remove all of the food sources within your kitchen. This means clearing up crumbs, sweeping down near the backs of machines, and moving the machines enough to clear behind them. Don’t be afraid to lay out some discreet traps.

2. Rodents

Rats and mice can be a horrible thing to find in your cooler, your ice machine, or other appliance. Having rodents means that they have access to your place, as well as a source of food, water and warmth. Remove these or make it harder for them to come in, and you should be able to get rid of the problem.

What should you do?

Like the roaches and the other creepy crawlies, it’s time to remove the food sources. Make sure that all of your food is appropriately covered, sealed, and stored. Once it’s full, immediately move your trash bin to the dumpster to be hauled away.

3. Slime

Slime, mold, and other bacterial growth can really put a damper on your day. These types of hazards don’t merely grow in ice machines and refrigerators. Basically, anywhere that makes it easy for bacteria to grow, slime and mold can grow.

What should you do?

Make sure that there’s a disinfectant in your cleaner. Wipe down all possible surfaces on which slime can grow, being very careful to wear gloves in the process. Look into an antimicrobial filter for your equipment, as well as antimicrobial treatment in the plastic itself.

4. Bad Temperatures

The biggest reason that you keep your food cold is that, by chilling it, it slows down the growth of bacteria and other hazards. As those refrigerators and other cooling appliances get older, their capability of chilling goods diminishes unless it’s wholly and properly maintained. Bad temperatures can be a result of many things.

What should you do?

First of all, knowing is half the battle. At least once a month, make sure that the temperature that your appliance announces is the actual temperature within the unit. If there’s a significant difference, the best thing you can do is to have professional maintenance done on the machine. Remember, it’s often cheaper to get service than to get a new machine.

5. Detritus

Every time that we touch something with our bare hands, something gets left behind. It might be skin cells, it might be bacteria from not washing our hands after using the bathroom, or it might be a combination of things. These materials get left behind in our ice machines and our refrigerators, potentially causing serious problems down the road.

What should you do?

Wash and sanitize your hands before handling anything within your appliance. If you’re not able to wash and sanitize your hands, put on gloves to protect the appliance from errant skin flakes and other detritus.

6. Improperly Labeled Items

Improperly labeled items or things that aren’t labeled at all can be a real hazard to your food safety. Unfortunately, it happens all the time in our home kitchens, as well as our commercial kitchens. How many times have you seen your friend’s fridge go from wonderland to science project? We’d definitely be on the lookout for that.

What should you do?

Take out everything that’s in your fridge or appliance. If you’re not able to remember the exact date that you put it in there, throw it away. If something is in there and it’s wrapped in newspaper from 1980, chances are it’s not good anymore. Labeling and food storage are two of the most important things to remember for your kitchen.

7. Unidentified Standing Sludge

Sometimes it’s not clear what you’ve found inside the ice machine or the refrigerator, but you are pretty sure that it’s probably not supposed to be there. Having sludge in anything is considered to be bad, and collecting it in your fridge or ice machine is right out.

What should you do?

If you’ve got unidentified standing sludge in your appliance, you might want to get some serious cleaning materials to wash it out. Start with the small natural cleaners and then escalate. Make sure that you bring plenty of washrags to the scene and scrub like a mad person.

If you have any of these items (or creepy crawlies) within your ice machines, refrigerators, or dishwashers, there’s definitely hope. You can take down most slime, bacteria and mold with disinfectants. You can scare away the rats and roaches by clearing out the open food and making sure that you’ve got some food-safe traps in the area. Any steps that you take toward getting these out will lead to a cleaner, happier and safer kitchen and home.

Food Safety News

Turbana taps into community opinion to find new social program to support

25Klogo-copyCorporations often donate money to charities or non-profits, but it’s rare to find an organization that lets the consumer decide where their support should go. Turbana, a premier banana producer,  is taking its social movement “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” to a new level by encouraging the community to speak up and choose causes close to their own hearts and homes.25kGroupPromo-copy The community cause that receives the most votes will win a $ 25,000 sponsorship, and Turbana will work with community members to instate a program that supports the cause.

Dubbed “Win 25K For Your Cause,” this interactive contest gives the community a chance to speak up, take action and have a big effect. The contest is fully housed within Turbana’s Facebook, and it is driven by consumer engagement, votes and shares throughout the period of July 1-Aug. 12. Consumers visiting the tab are invited to “tally” themselves into Turbana’s ongoing “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” movement, which focuses on empowering individuals to do good for their communities. During the voting period, they can nominate a cause of their choice or vote for a cause that has already been nominated.

Since Turbana’s main focus is on inspiring healthier, happier communities, it’s only appropriate that the company takes on such an ambitious call-to-action. Born from a cooperative of farmers seeking a better standard of living, Turbana takes pride in empowering the communities in which it is present.

“Win 25K For Your Cause” will empower individuals to make a difference by bringing light to community organizations that need support, while simultaneously bringing about positive change in their local areas. Turbana aims to produce a snowball effect by using the company’s own enthusiasm and passion for community involvement to inspire individuals to participate in giving back to their communities across the nation.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Researchers Combine ‘Luck and Guesswork’ to Find Salmonella’s Achilles’ Heel

A sugar and amino acid compound called fructose-asparagine never previously recognized as a nutrient for any organism is the stuff that makes Salmonella grow and it could be key to the pathogen’s demise. Brian Ahmer, associate professor of microbial infection and immunity at The Ohio State University, says the nutrient may be the Achilles’ heel for Salmonella and its 2,500 strains.

It’s the single food source Salmonella need to remain strong inside the inflamed intestine. Blocking the activation of one of five genes that move the nutrient to Salmonella cells could be the way to fight the infection. That’s because when they are blocked and the Salmonella cannot get access to this nutrient, they becomes much times less effective at keeping the disease going than when fully nourished.

For some reason, Salmonella really wants this nutrient, and if it can’t get this one, it’s in really bad shape,” says Ahmer, commenting on the research recently published in the peer-reviewed, open-source journal PLOS Pathogens. The single nutrient, known as F-Asn, opens new pathways for fighting Salmonella because it opens up a weakness not previously seen in the pathogen that has long confounded science.

“If you could block Salmonella from getting that nutrient, you’d really stop Salmonella,” Ahmer explains.

Foods such as raw meat and raw eggs contaminated with Salmonella bring on Salmonellosis, a disease of the intestine. Symptoms usually occurring in 12 to 72 hours include diarrhea, fever, cramps, vomiting and headaches. Usually the illness last four to seven days, requiring only home care.

However, Salmonellosis can require hospitalization. In rare cases, usually where the infection moves to the bloodstream from the intestine, it can be a cause of death. Salmonella has been a perplexing problem for both industry and government in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths annually in this country.

Risks from Salmonella are greater in underdeveloped countries where poor sanitation conditions exist.

Because antibiotics kill both helpful and harmful bacteria, they are not usually used to treat Salmonellosis. The new research raises the possibility of making a drug to target the genes needed to acquire F-Asn to impede Salmonella growth while not impacting other gut bacteria.

Scientists originally looked at five genes required by Salmonella for life during the active phase of gastroenteritis. They found the five worked together to move a nutrient into the bacterial cell and then broke it down for use as energy.

Ahmer says it took “luck and guesswork” to see the links with genes in E. coli and to identify the nutrient as F-Asn.

The researchers then experimented on cell cultures and mice to find out what happened when the genes were mutated. They found that Salmonella’s fitness to “survive, grow, and inflict damage” fell by 100 to 10,000 times if it was not able to gain access to the nutrient even when other sources of food were available.

“Nobody’s ever looked at nutrient transporters as drug targets because it’s assumed that there will be hundreds more transporters, so it’s a pointless pursuit,” Ahmer says. “That was one of the big surprises: that there is only one nutrient source that is so important to Salmonella. For most bacteria, if we get rid of one nutrient acquisition system, they continue to grow on other nutrients. In the gut, Salmonella can obtain hundreds of different nutrients. But without F-Asn, it’s really unfit.”

They may have reached this finding with the help of guesswork and luck, but several questions still remain that will require hard work to answer. Future research from the team will examine the window of time in which access to F-Asn is most important for the bacteria’s survival. They will also investigate which human foods contain high levels of the nutrient.

For now, though, the authors say that the F-Asn utilization system represents a specific and potent therapeutic target for Salmonella.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences supported the research with grant funding.

Co-authors include Mohamed Ali, Christopher Stahl, Jessica Dyszel, Jenee Smith and Yakhya Dieye of microbiology; Juan Gonzalez, Anice Sabag-Daigle and Brandi Steidley of microbial infection and immunity; Judith Dubena, Prosper Boyaka and Steven Krakowka of veterinary biosciences; Razvan Arsenescu of internal medicine, and Edward Behrman of chemistry and biochemistry, all at Ohio State; Peter White and the late David Newsom of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Tony Romeo of the University of Florida.

Food Safety News

How orchid bees find their personal scent, attract mates

A fragrant perfume has brought many a man and many a woman together. Orchid bees, too, appear to rely on scent when it comes to choosing a partner. In the course of their lives, the males compile a species-specific bouquet that they store in the pockets on their hind legs. One day, they release it. In order to attract the female, assumes Tamara Pokorny, biologist at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). She studies the flying perfume aficionados’ collecting behaviour.

Compiling the ideal scent takes a bee’s entire lifetime

A male bee’s complete perfume is made up of 20 to 40 characteristic components on average. Generally, the bouquet of young individuals deviates strongly from the ideal blend, because they had not yet had the chance to collect as many scents as older bees. This is evident in the data gathered by Tamara Pokorny and Marko Hannibal when they worked as visiting researchers in Mexico. The scientist from the Department of Animal Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity also found out that bees are aware of what they had already collected. Even if an attractive scent is available in abundance, the bees stop picking it up.

Each orchid bee species prefers a different type of tree

When releasing their bouquet, orchid bees select a tree trunk as the centre of their territory. The choice is not made randomly, as Tamara Pokorny knows. Together with a student team, she analysed the favourite trees of several orchid bee species in Costa Rica. The smaller species preferred branches or trunks with a smaller diameter, larger species those with a larger diameter. Generally, a smooth surface was more attractive than rough bark. Wind direction appears to be one of the factors that determine where exactly the male perches to distribute his scent.

Getting energy for exhausting flights

The Bochum biologist also studies the orchid bees’ flight performance. The small insects do actually fly over distances of 50 kilometres. Tamara Pokorny has a theory regarding how they get the energy necessary for those long distances, without being forced to stop and feed from flowers. By moving their proboscises in a certain manner, the bees appear to concentrate the sugar solution that they are drinking. They excrete superfluous water, retaining only the energy source within their body.

Orchids, eucalyptus and feces

Orchid bees live in Central and South America and live up to three months on average. Members of different species are interested in different scents. Orchid flowers are among the most popular sources, but eucalyptus-scented eucalyptol also frequently contributes to the blend. However, it’s not just substances that have a pleasant smell to humans that find their way into the pockets; some species consider skatole, a compound occurring in faeces, part of the bouquet.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. The original article was written by Julia Weiler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Homemade stink bug traps squash store-bought models, researchers find

A Virginia Tech team of researchers has proven that homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive, annoying bugs.

This discovery comes just as warm weather is coaxing the critters out of crevices of homes they were hiding in during the cold winter and homeowners will be looking for a way to get rid of the pest.

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room. The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $ 50, the study found. The only price of the homemade model is the cost of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light, all which homeowners may already own.

Though the solution is not new and has been promoted on Youtube and other websites, this is the first time it was actually tested in a scientific experiment.

The findings of the study can be found in a soon to be published issue of the Journal of Extension.

Virginia Tech created a video showing how to build a trap: http://vimeo.com/92354801

“We knew that insects are generally attracted to light, so we were able to exploit that with these traps,” said John Aigner, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology.

To conduct the study, Aigner and Tom Kuhar, an entomology professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist, enlisted the help of citizen scientists — homeowners who were annoyed by the infestation of stink bugs in their houses — to evaluate different types of traps for ridding homes of bugs. The study was conducted in 16 houses over two years.

“Currently there are no in-home insecticides labeled for use against brown marmorated stink bugs, so that presented us with a challenge,” Aigner said.

The homemade trap is not only inexpensive, it is also pesticide-free.

Unfortunately, the traps are only practical in homes. Farmers in the mid-Atlantic region have faced millions of dollars in damage to their crops since the brown marmorated stink bug invaded the mid-Atlantic region in the late 2000s. The bug is now found in 41 states. Still, the solution could give some reprieve to homeowners who find thousands of these cilantro-smelling bugs in their homes.

“The real devastation comes in the form of damage to farmers,” said Kuhar. “Stink bugs feed as nymphs and adults on the fruit and pods of plants, which maximizes their chances to render a crop unmarketable. These bugs have been documented to feed on many of our important agricultural crops including apples, peaches, grapes, soybean, peppers, tomatoes, corn and cotton.”

Treatment of the insects in crops is costly because the insecticides required to control it are broad spectrum toxicants that are highly disruptive to integrated pest management programs.

“The few native natural enemies they have can easily be killed with the same insecticide used to target the stink bugs themselves,” he said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Homemade stink bug traps squash store-bought models, researchers find

A Virginia Tech team of researchers has proven that homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive, annoying bugs.

This discovery comes just as warm weather is coaxing the critters out of crevices of homes they were hiding in during the cold winter and homeowners will be looking for a way to get rid of the pest.

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room. The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $ 50, the study found. The only price of the homemade model is the cost of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light, all which homeowners may already own.

Though the solution is not new and has been promoted on Youtube and other websites, this is the first time it was actually tested in a scientific experiment.

The findings of the study can be found in a soon to be published issue of the Journal of Extension.

Virginia Tech created a video showing how to build a trap: http://vimeo.com/92354801

“We knew that insects are generally attracted to light, so we were able to exploit that with these traps,” said John Aigner, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology.

To conduct the study, Aigner and Tom Kuhar, an entomology professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist, enlisted the help of citizen scientists — homeowners who were annoyed by the infestation of stink bugs in their houses — to evaluate different types of traps for ridding homes of bugs. The study was conducted in 16 houses over two years.

“Currently there are no in-home insecticides labeled for use against brown marmorated stink bugs, so that presented us with a challenge,” Aigner said.

The homemade trap is not only inexpensive, it is also pesticide-free.

Unfortunately, the traps are only practical in homes. Farmers in the mid-Atlantic region have faced millions of dollars in damage to their crops since the brown marmorated stink bug invaded the mid-Atlantic region in the late 2000s. The bug is now found in 41 states. Still, the solution could give some reprieve to homeowners who find thousands of these cilantro-smelling bugs in their homes.

“The real devastation comes in the form of damage to farmers,” said Kuhar. “Stink bugs feed as nymphs and adults on the fruit and pods of plants, which maximizes their chances to render a crop unmarketable. These bugs have been documented to feed on many of our important agricultural crops including apples, peaches, grapes, soybean, peppers, tomatoes, corn and cotton.”

Treatment of the insects in crops is costly because the insecticides required to control it are broad spectrum toxicants that are highly disruptive to integrated pest management programs.

“The few native natural enemies they have can easily be killed with the same insecticide used to target the stink bugs themselves,” he said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Homemade stink bug traps squash store-bought models, researchers find

A Virginia Tech team of researchers has proven that homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive, annoying bugs.

This discovery comes just as warm weather is coaxing the critters out of crevices of homes they were hiding in during the cold winter and homeowners will be looking for a way to get rid of the pest.

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room. The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $ 50, the study found. The only price of the homemade model is the cost of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light, all which homeowners may already own.

Though the solution is not new and has been promoted on Youtube and other websites, this is the first time it was actually tested in a scientific experiment.

The findings of the study can be found in a soon to be published issue of the Journal of Extension.

Virginia Tech created a video showing how to build a trap: http://vimeo.com/92354801

“We knew that insects are generally attracted to light, so we were able to exploit that with these traps,” said John Aigner, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology.

To conduct the study, Aigner and Tom Kuhar, an entomology professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist, enlisted the help of citizen scientists — homeowners who were annoyed by the infestation of stink bugs in their houses — to evaluate different types of traps for ridding homes of bugs. The study was conducted in 16 houses over two years.

“Currently there are no in-home insecticides labeled for use against brown marmorated stink bugs, so that presented us with a challenge,” Aigner said.

The homemade trap is not only inexpensive, it is also pesticide-free.

Unfortunately, the traps are only practical in homes. Farmers in the mid-Atlantic region have faced millions of dollars in damage to their crops since the brown marmorated stink bug invaded the mid-Atlantic region in the late 2000s. The bug is now found in 41 states. Still, the solution could give some reprieve to homeowners who find thousands of these cilantro-smelling bugs in their homes.

“The real devastation comes in the form of damage to farmers,” said Kuhar. “Stink bugs feed as nymphs and adults on the fruit and pods of plants, which maximizes their chances to render a crop unmarketable. These bugs have been documented to feed on many of our important agricultural crops including apples, peaches, grapes, soybean, peppers, tomatoes, corn and cotton.”

Treatment of the insects in crops is costly because the insecticides required to control it are broad spectrum toxicants that are highly disruptive to integrated pest management programs.

“The few native natural enemies they have can easily be killed with the same insecticide used to target the stink bugs themselves,” he said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Homemade stink bug traps squash store-bought models, researchers find

TGF-FruitImageA Virginia Tech team of researchers has proven that homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive, annoying bugs.

This discovery comes just as warm weather is coaxing the critters out of crevices of homes they were hiding in during the cold winter and homeowners will be looking for a way to get rid of the pest.

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room. The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $ 50, the study found. The only price of the homemade model is the cost of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light, all which homeowners may already own.

Though the solution is not new and has been promoted on Youtube and other websites, this is the first time it was actually tested in a scientific experiment.

The findings of the study can be found in a soon to be published issue of the Journal of Extension.

Virginia Tech created a video showing how to build a trap: http://vimeo.com/92354801

“We knew that insects are generally attracted to light, so we were able to exploit that with these traps,” said John Aigner, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology.

To conduct the study, Aigner and Tom Kuhar, an entomology professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist, enlisted the help of citizen scientists — homeowners who were annoyed by the infestation of stink bugs in their houses — to evaluate different types of traps for ridding homes of bugs. The study was conducted in 16 houses over two years.

“Currently there are no in-home insecticides labeled for use against brown marmorated stink bugs, so that presented us with a challenge,” Aigner said.

The homemade trap is not only inexpensive, it is also pesticide-free.

Unfortunately, the traps are only practical in homes. Farmers in the mid-Atlantic region have faced millions of dollars in damage to their crops since the brown marmorated stink bug invaded the mid-Atlantic region in the late 2000s. The bug is now found in 41 states. Still, the solution could give some reprieve to homeowners who find thousands of these cilantro-smelling bugs in their homes.

“The real devastation comes in the form of damage to farmers,” said Kuhar. “Stink bugs feed as nymphs and adults on the fruit and pods of plants, which maximizes their chances to render a crop unmarketable. These bugs have been documented to feed on many of our important agricultural crops including apples, peaches, grapes, soybean, peppers, tomatoes, corn and cotton.”

Treatment of the insects in crops is costly because the insecticides required to control it are broad spectrum toxicants that are highly disruptive to integrated pest management programs.

“The few native natural enemies they have can easily be killed with the same insecticide used to target the stink bugs themselves,” he said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Frog eggs help researchers find new information on grapevine disease

Vitis vinifera are common grapevines and are the world’s favorite wine-producing varietal. However, research has shown that grapevines are susceptible to powdery mildew, a plant disease, which contributes to significant crop loss for most commercial wine varietals that are cultivated each year. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have used frog eggs to determine the cause of this disease, and have found that a specific gene in the varietal Cabernet Sauvingon, contributes to its susceptibility.

“Powdery mildew disease causes the leaves of the grapevines to lose their chlorophyll and stop producing sugar,” said Walter Gassmann, an investigator at the Bond Life Sciences Center and professor in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources at MU. “The grape berries also get infected, so the quality and yield are reduced in multiple ways.”

According to a report by the USDA, powdery mildew can cause major yield losses if infection occurs early in the crop cycle and conditions remain favorable for development. Powdery mildew appears as white to pale gray fuzzy blotches on the upper surfaces of leaves and thrives in cool, humid and semiarid areas according to the report.

Gassmann used unfertilized frog eggs to test and analyze genes found in the grapevine plants. He studied the biological role of a specific gene that contributes to grapevine’s susceptibility to the fungus by incubating it in the frog eggs. Gassmann found that the fungus is able to trick the grapevine into providing nutrients, which allows mildew to grow and devastate the plant. His findings reveal one way that Vitis vinifera is genetically unable to combat the virus that causes powdery mildew.

“Not much is known about the way a grapevine supports the growth of the powdery mildew disease, but the frogs help us provide a reasonable hypothesis for what is going on and why Cabernet Sauvingon could be susceptible,” Gassmann said.

Gassmann says this research will open the door for discussing techniques to breed more resistant grapevines in the future.

“The grapevine could be bred to prevent susceptibility and to keep the character of the wine intact,” Gassmann said. “Isolating the genes that determine susceptibility could lead to developing immunities for different varietals and other crop plants and may contribute to general scientific knowledge of the grapevine, which has not been studied to the extent of other plants.”

The study was funded by grants from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and was published in the journal Plant and Cell Physiology.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. The original article was written by Diamond Dixon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

South African citrus exporters find it tough in Europe

Branching out into other markets
South African citrus exporters find it tough in Europe

Concerns in European countries about the spread of black spot disease has made for tough regulations regarding the importation of citrus from other continents. South African citrus exporters, who have found it especially tough to send their products to Europe, have had to look to other markets to compensate.

“South African citrus growers feel regulations have more to do with market protectionism,” said Don Limon’s Andreas Schindler. “They feel there’s a Spanish lobby that’s promoting barriers to entry that make it difficult for exporters from other continents, especially South African exporters, to enter the European market.” With difficulties in Europe, Schindler explained that it’s best for South African growers to explore sending their products to other continents.

“Europe is still a big market for South Africa,” he said, “but we’re happy to develop markets in Asia.” Don Limon, which is based out of Germany and which has offices in South Africa, China and Latin America, works with citrus growers around the world to market their fruit. Schindler noted that, though Asia, and China in particular, is an attractive destination for growers, breaking into that market requires the right contacts.

“We can reach customers in inland China who don’t speak English,” he said. “Before, big trading companies would work with other big companies in China, and they would sell to each other, and the Chinese company would then sell to someone else, and so on. What we can do for the exporter and the buyer is make the process more direct. Instead of buying from the customer of a customer of a customer, they buy it from us.” With as much potential as there is in South Africa, Schindler said it makes sense to develop additional markets.

“We see so much potential in South Africa – we plan to double our citrus volumes from there,” he said. “We’re developing markets so we can find a home for all the fruit on the tree.”

For more information:
Andreas Schindler
Pilz Schindler GmbH
Tel: +49 (0)40 – 3095499-45
Fax: +49 (0)40 – 3095499-60
www.don-limon.de

 
 

Publication date: 4/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Women need to find balance between work and personal life, panelists say

Women in the grocery business have to figure out how to balance work and family more so than men do, a panel of women acknowledged during a workshop session Tuesday at the annual convention of the National Grocers Association in Las Vegas. “It’s hard for a woman to advance in the grocery business and take an opening or closing shift when she’s trying to raise a child as a single parent, and that often can hold women back from promotions,” Lauren Johnson, COO for Newport …

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Supermarket News

NJ Restaurant Inspections Hard to Find for Super Bowl Fans

New Jersey’s Health Commissioner is out with advice for fans attending Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. And, while some food safety tips were included, Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd was silent about finding restaurants with good inspection records.

Her spokeswoman, Donna Leusner, told Food Safety News that’s because restaurant inspections in New Jersey are strictly a local matter. For the most part, you are not going to find inspection reports online nor will you see letter grades posted at the restaurant door as you do in nearby New York City.

So Seahawks and Broncos fans, you are on your own.

New Jersey’s Health Commissioner is warning you to dress in layers, wear a winter coat, and wash your hands often. Oh, and before arriving in New Jersey, get your shots – a flu shot, that is.

When it comes to picking restaurants in the confusing geography of northern New Jersey, nothing is going to be easy. The first-ever outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl is being played in the MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J.

As for food and beverage establishments in the area, here’s the good news: The health department for the Borough of East Rutherford has an active inspection program for approximately 130 restaurants in its jurisdiction. Under the New Jersey code for “Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Beverage Vending Machines,” there are four possible outcomes for an inspection. They are:

  • Satisfactory
  • Conditionally Satisfactory
  • Conditionally Satisfactory on Re-inspection
  • Unsatisfactory

One or more violations involving food safety or sanitation issues can result in a Conditionally Satisfactory outcome. Unsatisfactory is for gross violations that typically result in closure of the establishment.

Here’s the bad news: It is unlikely that Seahawks or Broncos fans will be able to find even the overall evaluation from the last inspection in time to make a food safety decision about a restaurant. As for the actual report, well, as they say in New Jersey, “You can fuggedaboudit.”

Boroughs are not even required to issue written reports, let alone make any report available to the public beyond the “outcome” label. And, every time you move in northern New Jersey, you’re likely to be in a new borough. Except for a few scattered reports that local newspapers collect, you’re not going to find much.

East Rutherford does spend about 1.5 percent of its annual budget on public health. According to its most recent annual report, 130 food safety inspections were conducted under the state code, and the health department sampled 60 potentially hazardous foods.

The borough does participate in the “Bergen County Gold Star Program Award for Excellence in Food Protection.” Its purpose is to recognize establishments that exceed food safety and sanitation minimums.

The most recent “Gold Star” winners for East Rutherford were: Ice Cream Charlie’s, Dairy Queen, 55 Kip Center, Dunkin Donuts, Café Mattise, Meadows School, New China Inn, Sweet Avenue Bake Shop, Hop Hing, Bagel Supreme, Rutherford Pancake House, Greek Town Gyros and Wendy’s.

As for MetLife Stadium, the food vendors there were not shown with any violations in ESPN’s last comparison of inspection reports for the nation’s 107 professional stadiums and arenas. But that was mostly because it was too new, having just opened in 2010.

Since it opened, the Super Bowl site’s food court has gained attention for featuring New Jersey and New York “street foods.” The stadium’s food service is provided by Delaware North Companies and, for what it’s worth, they just obtained a “Certified Green Restaurant” designation from the Green Restaurant Association. The award was earned by converting all kitchen waste oil to biodiesel, composting kitchen scraps, donating all leftover food, and recycling cardboard, plastic, glass and other materials.

The Super Bowl will be played in the 82,500-seat stadium on Sunday.

Food Safety News

French apple growers find themselves with smaller sizes

French apple growers find themselves with smaller sizes

Though apple tonnage is back to normal this year in France, fruit distributors are having a harder time moving this year’s crop due to smaller apple sizes.

“When you have smaller sizes you need more consumers to buy apples,” said Blue Whale’s Marc Peyres. Because consumers typically consume apples by the number of apples rather than by weight, smaller sizes mean less tonnage could be sold this year. So while the same number of apples are sold, less fruit, as measured by weight, is actually being bought by consumers.

 

“When we look at total volume, it will be a difficult season,” said Peyres. “But it might seem that way because last year was much easier.” Despite having trouble moving tonnage, he added that the season has been a positive one when it comes to pricing. While he found it hard to top last year’s impressive sales, Peyres believes this season will top 2011′s.

“Prices are quite stable, so while some varieties are going up in price, average prices are okay so far,” said Peyres. Granny, Fuji, Pink Lady and Gala apples are all doing well, in terms of prices, noted Peyres, but we need more market to move the total volume.

“The problem we have with consumption has to do with kilos, not with number of apples sold,” said Peyres. “The market is very stable, so it’s not a question of price, it’s a question of size.”

Kiwi
On the other hand, he predicted a kiwi season with few obstacles.“There wasn’t as much fruit from Chile in November and December, because they finished early, and it’s likely they’ll be a little late for the start of next year’s season,” said Peyres, “and that’s the case for all markets, not just for Europe.” That means French exporters will have less competition in the market.

“We anticipate a good balance between supply and demand, and since the crop is not so big, it will be easy to have a good market for kiwis,” said Peyres. “I think this could be one of the best seasons for kiwis we’ve had in the last ten years.”

For more information:
Marc Peyres
Blue Whale
Tel +33 5.63.21.56.56
Email: [email protected]
www.blue-whale.com

Publication date: 1/23/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

NZ: Anxious wait for fruit growers after fruit fly find

NZ: Anxious wait for fruit growers after fruit fly find

New Zealand’s horticulture industry is collectively holding its breath while it waits to find out if there will be any more Queensland fruit flies found in Northland.

The Ministry for Primary Industries announced the detection of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a suburb of Whangarei.

“This is an anxious time for all growers and the whole horticulture industry,” HortNZ president Julian Raine says.

“We are watching the response efforts very closely and providing support and advice to the Ministry where we can.

“Growers appreciate the difficulties this is going to cause for people living within the controlled area that has been set up around the find.”

The risk to the $ 4 billion New Zealand horticulture industry from the Queensland Fruit Fly is two-fold:

·         first is the destruction caused by the pest and the on-going cost of attempting to control it, and

·         second is the cost of international markets closing to NZ products, because those trading partners don’t want to get the Queensland pest either.

The export of fruit and vegetables is New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner. When fruit fly was discovered in Auckland in 1996, China shut its doors to New Zealand exports for two years.

An incursion in the Bay of Plenty would seriously impact on kiwifruit exports.

Publication date: 1/23/2014


FreshPlaza.com