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Grant Will Support Research Into Better Safety Procedures For Organic Leafy Greens

November 10, 2010: 11:39 AM EST

As U.S. food producers turn more to certified organic farming systems for a variety of reasons, they need better methods of ensuring the safety and post-harvest quality of organic leafy greens, including spinach, lettuce, arugula, cabbage and radicchio. The USDA is expediting the search for better safety methods with a $2.9 million grant to a University of Arizona researcher whose  comprehensive project will examine every step in the process, from field to fork. Since the late 1990s, U.S. organic production has grown steadily, the USDA says: more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers now buy organic products at least occasionally; 28 percent buy organic products weekly. The researchers will look at ways to eliminate bacterial – especially E. coli and salmonella – contamination in bagged leafy greens using organic methods.

Daniel Stolte, "Improving safety and quality of organic leafy greens", News release, University of Arizona, November 10, 2010, © Univ. of Arizona
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