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.

3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Webster County Traffic Advisory

WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (3/30/15) — A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one… Read More

Mustangs sweep doubleheader from Graves County

GREENVILLE, Ky. (3/29/15) - The Muhlenberg County baseball team returned to the win column on Saturday. Muhlenberg… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5843

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5408

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5161

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5095

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4270

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 4086

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13761

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11612

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 30, 2015 1761

Juvenile Arrested for Cruelty to Animals

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 30, 2015 1200

Two Charged in Bremen Meth Bust

by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
March 29, 2015 1035

Huge Turnout Joins to Support Shanice Bean Family

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 953

Should Inactivity be Classified as a Disease?

by Mallory Powell
March 29, 2015 760

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 721

North American Stainless to Make $150 Million…

by Office of the Governor
March 29, 2015 664

Market Commentary - March 29, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin
March 29, 2015 651

Gov. Beshear, Federal Officials to Announce New…

by Office of Governor
March 29, 2015 582

Legislator's Log - Week of March 29, 2015

by Brent Yonts
March 29, 2015 571

UK Experts to Discuss Cancer Care on KET

by Allison Perry