PI: Strawn, Co-PI: Danyluk/Florida and Chapman/NCSU

Goal: The project aimed to provide scientific data on which to update/refine melon specific best practice guidance to reduce to likelihood of cross-contamination events in field-packing operations by quantifying the transfer of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes onto melons from each potential cross-contamination surface (e.g., stainless steel, polyethylene, or corrugated cardboard lined packing tables).

Benefits: Identify surfaces at higher risk for cross-contamination (between melons and typical field-pack contact surfaces) during harvest of melons for producers to reduce the likelihood of occurrence. Hands-on trainings and a report to the industry with guidance to reduce potential cross contamination events during field-pack.