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UC Davis Produce Curriculum
Is Open To The Industry

Jim Gorny is no stranger to these pages. Back when he was with United Fresh Produce, we gave him the Perishable Pundit Unsung Hero Award for doing yeoman’s work — along with Hank Giclas and David Gombas — in formulating the metrics that ultimately developed into those used by the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement . As the industry tumbled into crisis with Salmonella Saintpaul, Jim Gorny wrote what was perhaps the most prescient piece of the time, saying it would be epidemiology, not traceability, that would be the problem. You can read that piece right here.

Now Dr. Gorny has taken a moment to update us on what is going on at UC Davis:

Thanks for assisting Roberta Cook and I by participating in the upcoming Fresh Produce Marketing Strategies short course. I know that you will provide valuable insight to course participants.

I also wanted to give you a round up on other activities we are currently planning at the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center with numerous collaborators. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it seems like there is a tremendous void in produce industry when it comes to available training. That’s why we are working hard to fill that void with the following offerings — a full listing of our 2009 training events is below.

We’ve also recently launched the following programs:

Fresh Produce Executive Forum Webinar Series: Working in collaboration with the Center for Produce Safety, our first webinar was on November 20, 2008 — Fresh Produce Microbial Pathogen Testing: Program Components & Considerations — was at capacity with 125 registrants from all sectors of the industry. We had a great response and I am very grateful for the assistance provided by FMI (Larry Kohl), NRA (Donna Garren), United Fresh (Dave Gombas) and PMA (Bob Whitaker) in helping us get the word out to their members regarding this upcoming educational outreach webinar. We plan on continuing the webinar series focused on produce industry hot topics as related to produce quality and safety issues. Our next webinar is tentatively scheduled for Monday January 12, 2009, Produce Irradiation: Food Safety Solution? (see details below)

Fresh-cut Fundamentals: A new collaboration among the UC Davis, University of Arizona and University of Georgia in the heart of the winter fresh-cut produce production region. (See details below and attached)

Thanks for your interest and support of our produce programs at UC Davis and hopefully this provides you with a brief overview of what we have planned in the next year or so.

— Jim Gorny
Executive Director
Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center
University of California, Davis

Jim included updates on several UC Davis projects:

The Fresh Produce Executive Forum Webinar Series
Co-sponsored by the UC Davis Center for Produce Safety, United Fresh and the Produce Marketing Association

Produce Irradiation: Food Safety Solution?

Date/Time: Monday January 12, 2009 10am PT / 1pm ET

Irradiation Pathogen Reduction Efficacy on Produce
Robert Buchanan, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Center for Food Systems Safety & Security (Tentative)

Irradiation Effects on Produce Quality
Adel Kader, Ph.D. — UC Davis

Irradiation Systems for Produce
Harlan Clemmons, Sadex Corporation (Tentative)

Consumer Perceptions of Produce Irradiation
Christine M. Bruhn, Ph.D., UC Davis

Legal & Regulatory Issues Regarding Produce Irradiation for Control of Human Pathogens
Leslie T. Krasny, Keller and Heckman LLP

You can enroll in this webinar here.

This will be followed by a series of additional webinars:

Managing Microbial Water Quality on the Farm Managing Water Quality in a Produce Packinghouse (Date, Time and Cost — TBA)

Assessing the Microbial Risk of Adjacent Lands (Date, Time and Cost — TBA)

Managing the Microbial Safety of Soil Amendments (Date, Time and Cost — TBA)

Developing, Implementing & Managing Effective Worker Health & Hygiene Programs (Date, Time and Cost — TBA)


UC Davis Fresh-cut Fundamentals Workshop Set for March 5th in Yuma

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center today announced a new addition to its portfolio of produce industry educational course offerings: Fresh-cut Fundamentals. The intensive one-day workshop scheduled for Thursday March 5, 2009 in Yuma, Arizona, is now open for registration, including online registration here.

The workshop curriculum provides information regarding underlying principles that govern fresh-cut produce quality while providing practical tools for application in the processing plant. Operations, quality assurance, manufacturing and maintenance managers, as well as anyone interested in assuring the quality of fresh-cut produce would benefit from this workshop. The training is geared to all levels of fresh-cut produce industry professionals — from small, local and regional produce processors to large businesses with nationwide distribution. The workshop will be highly interactive and hands-on, with attendees sharing information and working in small groups throughout the day.

The program was designed and will be delivered by produce technical experts from three nationally recognized universities:

Marita Cantwell, Ph.D., UC Davis, Department of Plant Sciences
Jorge Fonseca, Ph.D., MBA, University of Arizona-Yuma Agricultural Center
Jim Gorny, Ph.D., UC Davis, Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center
Bill Hurst, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Food Science & Technology Department
Jim Thompson, P.E., UC Davis, Biological & Agricultural Engineering

“This workshop offers an opportunity for anyone working in the fresh-cut produce industry to arm themselves with tools they can use to monitor and control fresh-cut produce finished product quality and ultimately reduce operating costs” said Jim Gorny, workshop faculty director. “With rising production costs and downward price pressures from buyers, finding operational efficiencies while maintaining product quality is imperative for any fresh-cut produce enterprise.”

UCD Postharvest Center Announces 2009 Produce Educational Program Schedule

Registration, including convenient and easy on line registration, is now open for produce industry educational programs being offered in 2009 by the U.C. Davis Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center. Early registration is suggested for these popular workshops that are being offered on the U.C. Davis campus as follows:

March 5, 2009. Fresh-cut Fundamentals Yuma, AZ (New)

March 24-26, 2009. Fresh Produce Marketing Strategies Short Course (New)

April 28-29, 2009. Fruit Ripening & Ethylene Management Workshop (15th Annual).

June 15-26, 2009. Postharvest Technology Short Course & Industry Tour (31st Annual).

September 22-24, 2009. Fresh-cut Workshop (14th Annual)

We are constantly striving to provide produce practitioners with useful, user-friendly and up-to-date technical resources to assist them in reducing costly postharvest losses and helping them to assure the quality, safety and marketability of fresh produce for consumers said U.C. Davis Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center Faculty Director Jim Thompson. Our hope is that industry representatives will turn knowledge into actions to enhance consumer satisfaction with produce purchases and thus increase consumption of these healthful, wholesome and nutritious food items said Thompson.

All these, and other, educational outreach events can be registered for via the Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center website, which you can access here.

We thank Jim Gorny of UC Davis for sending along such an extensive update on happenings at UC Davis. What a terrific opportunity to learn and grow. We hope that many in the industry will take advantage of these resources and of resources offered by other universities.

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