Changing Consumer Behavior: 5 Easy Ways to Practice Food Safety for Produce at Home

Posted by Megan Haug Crivelli (Guest Blogger) on Jan 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When there is notice of an outbreak or a recall related to produce, we can all agree that it is not something that we want to be associated with, whether it was caused from produce sent out by our operation or whether it is produce that we have consumed. With buyer specifications and the new FSMA rules, produce operations are guided on how to prevent food safety issues at the operation level. However, do you ever consider how you are preventing food safety issues while buying, storing and preparing produce at home? 

Frank Yiannis, VP of Food Safety for Walmart stores recently stated, “To make dramatic improvements in reducing the burden of foodborne disease, we need to get much better at influencing and changing human behavior.”

Read More

Fresh to Market: Innovation Ensuring Faster, Safer Produce to Shelves

Posted by Mandi Kim, Food Safety Specialist on Aug 15, 2016 10:50:52 AM

Getting fresh produce to market while still ensuring quality and safety is often a paradox in the produce industry. The demand for more product with longer shelf life continues to rise as people try to eat healthier foods. However, public health data, recent recalls and outbreaks amidst increasing consumer awareness and changing regulatory requirements create a very challenging landscape for today’s growers, packers, retailers and other links throughout the supply chain. As a result, produce companies are turning to innovative solutions to help them meet the demands of producing and providing safe, quality products in a timely manner.

Read More

An ounce of prevention: Understanding the FSMA produce safety rule and how pathogens get into produce

Posted by Lauretta Johnson on Oct 20, 2015 9:47:00 AM

For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of working with the produce industry. Every year, I am amazed by the innovation that happens--from new varieties of kale to new colors of potatoes and carrots and what about the packing improvements--it’s a constant effort to provide creative new products for consumers. Produce and often raw produce are playing an ever more important role as people try to eat more healthy food...and with that, there is more focus on food safety.  

Read More

Falcons, Surrogates, and More at the Produce Research Symposium

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Jul 7, 2015 10:00:19 AM

Last month, manufacturers, researchers, and government representatives gathered in Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Produce Research Symposium held by UC Davis’s Center for Produce Safety. The symposium was informative and action-packed, addressing a broad variety of topics that are critical to produce safety.

Read More

Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Jun 17, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day1? Fruits and vegetables are the perfect companion for other well-known June activities of BBQs, picnics, and other food-focused fun. 

Read More

50s and Fun at Southern Exposure, the premier produce industry event

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Mar 3, 2015 12:06:09 PM

This past week, Roka had a great time at the Southeast Produce Council’s annual Southern Exposure located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. The 50s-themed event was certainly very fun and offered lots of networking opportunities for growers and retailers alike. One of the highlights of the show included the fantastic Opening Gala complete with fair games and vintage cars.

Read More

Controlling Listeria in Fresh Produce: Views from a California Native

Posted by Monee Dulay on Jan 20, 2015 10:23:00 AM

Living in California, I am blessed by the abundance of fresh produce grown all around me. The varying climates and microclimates of California enable a diverse offering of fruits vegetables and nuts, from avocados and citrus in the South, to leafy greens and celery in the Salinas Valley, to almonds and pistachios in the San Joaquin Valley. My ideal location in San Diego enables me to network, engage, and understand both the common and varying needs of the industry as a Technical Sales Specialist with Roka Bioscience. In my discussions with local producers, the impact of the upcoming FSMA regulations and Listeria monocytogenes control procedures have been a chief topic across the board. In my research to support customers with industry information, I found this great resource by United Fresh Produce Association, Guidance on Environmental Monitoring and Control of Listeria for the Fresh Produce Industry.

Read More

Why is New Jersey called the Garden State?

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Nov 11, 2014 11:11:39 AM

While sitting at a red light yesterday, my mind wandered, and became philosophical about the New Jersey license plate on the car in front of me. On the top of the license is a proud declaration of our state “New Jersey” and on the bottom of the license plate is New Jersey’s nickname “Garden State.” Admittedly, I was born and raised in New Jersey and have spent a majority of my life here, but have never given too much thought to the nickname. A quick internet search will tell you that New Jersey got its nickname from Abraham Browning in 1876. In 1954, the nickname was added to license plates and has been a staple ever since. The nickname might have been appropriate in 1876, but does New Jersey live up to its nickname today? Certainly there are other states in the US that would be well-suited to have the same nickname. As it turns out, food and agriculture is New Jersey’s third largest industry.New Jersey contains more than 9,700 farms covering more than 715,000 acres of land. That’s pretty impressive considering New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state in the US (we are small but mighty!). New Jersey farmers produce more than 100 different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and New Jersey is ranked third in cranberry and spinach production in the country.

Even the New Jersey state flag and seal depict Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, holding a cornucopia in her left hand. But you don’t have to do internet research to find out that New Jersey is passionate about their agriculture industry. I recently attended a networking event hosted by the New Jersey Food Processors Association and met several people with different backgrounds and interests, but one thing in common, a dedication to the food industry and food safety. As it turns out, I don’t have to go far beyond my own backyard to learn about the impact agriculture has on New Jersey’s economy, culture, and rich history.

Read More