•                                 Food Science

    Evaluation of Practical Post-Harvest Mitigation Strategies to Reduce the Abundance of Vibrio Bacteria in Molluscan Shellfish

    NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Infections by Vibrio spp. increased by 41% from 1996-2005 and are at their highest levels since FoodNet began collecting data. These infections are most often associated with the consumption of raw seafood, particularly oysters. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced its intent to require that oysters harvested during warm weather months receive a Post Harvest Process (PHP) to reduce levels of V. vulnificus (Vv). Since the announcement, the FDA has indicated that before implementation of this policy, it will work with stakeholders to identify and evaluate alternatives to existing PHP technologies.

    The proposed project will address this need by evaluating two potentially practical and cost effective post-harvest mitigation strategies. Study objectives include: 1) evaluating chill tank storage (CTS) and wet overboard storage (WOS) during the warmer months, 2) determining genetic profiles of natural Vv and Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) isolated from CTS and WOS oysters, 3) using Smart ButtonsTM to monitor time temperature profiles of oysters during CTS and WOS, 4) estimating costs and benefits of the optimal CTS and WOS approaches, and 5) developing outreach and extension programs for control of Vv and Vp in postharvest oysters. This unique combination of multi-institutional research and outreach activities will help develop science-based control strategies. It will also heighten the research capacity in food science at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

    FUNDING:  NIFA - Capacity Building Grant

    CONTACT:  Dr. Salina Parveen, Associate Professor, Food Science and Technology, sparveen@umes.edu