Incidence And Association Of Human Pathogens With Produce

1.4.1 FDA Imported Produce Survey

In March 1999 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a 1000-sample survey of imported fresh produce raw agricultural commodities from 21 countries and included: broccoli, loose-leaf lettuce (radicchio, escarole, endive, chicory leaf, mesclun, and others), cantaloupe, celery, strawberries, scallions/green onions, tomatoes, parsley, culantro (a herb), and cilantro [12]. Loose-leaf lettuce products included radicchio, escarole, endive, chicory and others. These high-volume imported fresh produce raw agricultural commodities were selected by the FDA for the imported produce sampling assignment based on the following risk factor criteria: epidemiological outbreak data, structural characteristics of the produce item, growing conditions, processing and consumption rates. Raw agricultural commodities are defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as "any food in its raw or natural state, including all fruits that are washed, colored, or otherwise treated in the unpeeled natural form prior to marketing.'' These raw agricultural commodities were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7. All commodities except for cilantro, culantro, and strawberries also were analyzed for Shigella spp. Produce imported from Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Honduras, Belgium, Italy, Israel, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, France, Argentina, Ecuador, Haiti, and Korea were sampled. Six countries provided 25 or more samples for analysis: Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and Honduras.

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