Produce & Fresh Cut

Cyclospora Outbreak Fuels Produce Safety Concern

HENDERSON, Colo. — Produce food safety remains in the spotlight. Presently, pre-packaged salad sold at retail and used in restaurants is being targeted as the likely source of the current outbreak of Cyclospora across 16 states. As a result, the industry is seeking additional help to fight foodborne pathogens and protect the consumer.

Birko, a leader in providing food safety solutions for the produce industry, recommends that produce plants and processors review their cleaning and sanitation procedures.  It is also important for processors to review employee hygiene practices and ensure that all employees handling product are using good hand washing and sanitizing techniques frequently, and especially after using the restroom.

“The exact ways that the Cyclospora parasite contaminates food and water are not fully understood,” said Dr. Elis Owens, Birko’s Senior Microbiologist / Chemist. “But it still makes sense to follow good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices for fresh fruit and vegetables, to help limit the spread of Cyclospora and other pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.

Birko has a complete line of specialized chemical formulations for cleaning and sanitation, as well as hand care. Birko also provides HACCP consultation for fruit and vegetable processing through its HACCP-certified food safety consultants. Birko provides complete in-plant cleaning, chemical and sanitation audits, as well as assistance with chemical product usage, custom equipment procurement and employee training.