Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Berry Good News

If you are a berry grower this is exciting news: 

This in from Diane Ducharme: 

Berries are in the news with Hepatitis A.  
I wanted to let you know of some great resources that have been created through NoroCORE (Read more about this project below) for the Berry Industry.   Please feel free to us these in your newsletters or blogs.  

Links to Infosheet on Hepatisis A - one for farm management and one for berry harvesters:
Direct Link:

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Contact Information for Fresh Produce:
Chip Simmons
Office 919-515-6756
Mobile 919-414-5632


North Carolina State University will use a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to strengthen food safety by studying human noroviruses across the food supply chain in an effort to design effective control measures and reduce the number of virus-caused food borne illnesses.
Human noroviruses are the most common cause of food borne disease, responsible for more than 5 million cases in the United States each year. Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Molluscan shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels; fresh produce; and foods that are extensively handled just prior to consumption are at greatest risk for contamination.
Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, a professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NC State, is the lead investigator of this five-year project.  Her group, called the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative, consists of a team of more than 30 collaborators from academia, industry and government. The team will work to increase understanding of the viruses; educate producers, processors and food handlers on safe handling and preparation of food; and develop control and management strategies to reduce food contamination before and after harvesting. (Excerpt taken from
NoroCORE, the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative, is a food safety collaborative that focuses on outreach, research, and education in the field of food virology. NoroCORE’s ultimate goal is to reduce the burden of food borne disease associated with viruses, particularly noroviruses. NoroCORE is comprised of more than 30 lead scientists and their teams, from 18 institutions, with numerous stakeholders in the academic, industry, and government sectors. This multi-disciplinary team is working in an integrated manner to develop improved tools, skills, and capacity to understand and control food borne virus risks.

Through NoroCORE, we have put together a couple of infosheets with information about viruses in berries.  There are two infosheets: one directed at harvesters and one directed at farm management.  I hope these will be helpful for those individuals with questions about viral contamination of berries as the Hepatitis A outbreak in pomegranate seeds continues... (Excerpt taken from

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