School of Natural and Environmental Sciences


Microbiological Risk Management Tools for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Student: Erin Lewis
Staff: Jerry Barnes, Andrew Hudson (FERA), Edward Haynes (FERA), Nigel Cook (FERA)
Sponsors: The Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI), a joint venture between Newcastle University and FERA Science Ltd

Project Summary

Fruit and vegetables are becoming increasingly acknowledged as a source of foodborne illnesses. In my project I will examine the relationships among microbes within the field with the aim of identifying potential indicators of faecal contamination and contamination with human pathogenic organisms; identifying potential ecological factors that affect the potential of a crop to become contaminated and lead to human illness and look at the sources of contamination within the supply chain. To do this I will use next generation sequencing in conjunction with traditional culturing, molecular methods and glasshouse and field trials. My aim is to allow better advice to be given to fruit and vegetable growers leading to better mitigation of the risks of foodborne disease agents.