vegetables marketBOWLING GREEN, Ky. (4/26/14) – A Western Kentucky University researcher will use a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a way to enhance the safety of locally grown fresh produce.

Dr. John Khouryieh, assistant professor of food processing and technology in the Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences Department, will use the $209,928 grant to fund the two-year study to develop strategies to reduce foodborne outbreaks due to fresh produce microbial contamination. He will be working with Drs. Amanda McKeith, Martin Stone and Todd Willian in Agriculture; Dr. Cangliang Shen in Biology and Dr. Jerry Daday in Sociology.

“Small farmers are having difficulty implementing and documenting Good Agricultural Practices on their farms due to the lack of resources,” Khouryieh said. “While utilizing the USDA grant fund, we will been working to increase Kentucky growers’ knowledge and participation in safe production and handling of fresh fruits and vegetables to reduce fresh produce microbial contamination.”

Researchers will determine current food safety practices through social surveys administered at fresh produce farms and to farmers’ market vendors, develop effective postharvest sanitizing procedures for fresh produce processing at farmers’ markets, develop food safety educational materials for small farmers for training and distribution at farmers’ markets and train small farmers and farmers’ market vendors through workshops.

“My collaborators and I are working to provide education, outreach and training for growers in regards to the safety of fresh produce to enhance marketability of locally grown produce in Kentucky,” Khouryieh said.

The WKU grant is one of 35 grants totaling nearly $24 million announced today by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Food Safety program to improve food safety by helping control microbial and chemical contamination in various foods.

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grants program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. The five AFRI challenge areas – food safety, global food security, childhood obesity prevention, sustainable bioenergy and climate adaptation – advance fundamental sciences and deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and Extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

SurfKY News
Information provided by WKU News

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6119

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 14, 2015 4671

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 09, 2015 3889

MPD, HCSO Joint Investigation Leads to Two…

by Lt. William Poe
April 16, 2015 3287

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 09, 2015 3113

Woman Charged with Multiple Offenses Including…

by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read This Month

March 18, 2015 10016

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
April 02, 2015 8410

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 16, 2015 3287

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 16, 2015 1892

Dawson Native, Former Disney Graphic Designer…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 1302

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
April 16, 2015 1295

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 1211

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 16, 2015 1135

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 1133

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 994

Business Spotlight: Community Health Centers…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 875

Children’s Advocacy Director Shares Information…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 768

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Dips to 5.1 Percent in…

by Kim Brannock