Foodborne illness occurs more often than we realize. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million residents in the U.S. suffer from foodborne illness each year. Produce consumed raw is being looked at closely because 46 percent of the confirmed cases of foodborne illnesses between 1998 and 2008 were associated with fresh produce and nuts.
Iowa State is working on grower training and compliance of the Produce Safety Rule which is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This regulation focuses on setting the first-ever federal regulatory standards for the production, harvest, and handling of fruits and vegetables. This rule and its compliance is a major effort to prevent microbial contamination and reduce foodborne illnesses associated with fresh produce.