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Description Participants Agenda (pdf)

NIMBioS Investigative Workshop

Modeling Contamination of Fresh Produce


Produce image.

Topic: Modeling microbial contamination of fresh produce along the post-harvest supply chain

Meeting dates: April 24-25, 2014

Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Yaguang Luo, Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Lab, USDA
Daniel Munther, Mathematics, Cleveland State Univ.

Objectives: Food borne diseases associated with fresh produce continue to cause serious difficulties for public health in North America. As globalization has broadened the food supply chain and increased its complexity, more sophisticated methods of surveillance are needed at key links to ensure the safety of fresh produce. In particular, recent studies have identified the sanitization juncture as well as packaging and shipping as important players that can promote contamination or even cross-contamination of produce. Focusing on each of these areas, our investigative workshop will pursue four goals:

  1. Develop novel models that capture contamination and pathogen growth dynamics involved in sanitization, packaging and shipping.
  2. Discuss and develop multi-scale models that connect these supply chain links to form a global picture.
  3. Explore how these new models can aid in more relevant data collection to test and inform model predictions at both the local and global levels.
  4. Provide a venue for collaboration among mathematical modelers, food technologists, statisticians, microbiologists, and industrial and government agency representatives in order to synthesize knowledge in a way that establishes modeling as an indispensable tool for pathogen surveillance and control in the fresh produce industry.

Presentation Speakers, Titles and Abstracts

Descriptive Flyer

Modeling Contamination of Fresh Produce WordPress Site. NIMBioS has created a WordPress site to facilitate group communication and information sharing for the workshop. This is an interactive tool for sharing resources and comments before, during and after the meeting. All participants will receive an official email from WordPress inviting you to join the site. You will be asked to click on the link in the email from WordPress to accept the invitation. Before the meeting, we encourage you to introduce yourself to the rest of the group by writing a post with some details about your background and what you hope to gain from the meeting. Full details on how to post, comment and upload files to the WordPress site are available at the site (

Live Stream. Selected presentations will be available for viewing via live streaming during the workshop. A live chat will take place via Twitter with the hashtag #produceWS.

NIMBioS Investigative Workshops focus on broad topics or a set of related topics, summarizing/synthesizing the state of the art and identifying future directions. Organizers and key invited researchers make up half the 30-40 participants in a workshop, and the remaining 15-20 participants are filled through open application from the scientific community. Open applicants selected to attend are notified by NIMBioS within two weeks of the application deadline. Investigative Workshops have the potential for leading to one or more future Working Groups. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic, including post-docs and graduate students, are encouraged to apply. If needed, NIMBioS can provide support (travel, meals, lodging) for Workshop attendees, whether from a non-profit or for-profit organization.