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Horizon scanning to anticipate future crop contamination issues resulting from climate change - FO0307

Description
The aim of this project is to complete a desk study on horizon scanning of future crop contamination issues related to pressures resulting from changes to the crop environment; whether through regulation, climate change and/or predicted external factors.

Crop plants are grown in fields and orchards that are non-sterile environments. Crops are susceptible to contamination from a wide range of sources. These contaminants may include plant pathogens that can also be deleterious to human health such as organisms that produce toxins or, in some rare cases, are able to cause disease directly. Fresh fruit and vegetables are important to human health but are of particular concern as they are likely to be consumed raw.
Fresh produce is also susceptible to contamination by human pathogenic organisms that are acquired from the environment during the growing process. Detection of outbreaks of food-borne illness associated with fresh fruits and vegetables may be increasing. Surfaces of produce have a population of micro-organisms that are mostly not of human health significance. However, occasionally, low level sporadic contamination of produce with human pathogens may occur.
Food quality can be compromised by contamination by insects and other animals (or material derived from animals).
In addition, processing fresh produce provides opportunities for product to become contaminated with pathogens or for pathogens on products to grow.

Changes in agricultural practices are likely to impact qualitatively and quantitatively on crop contaminants. Changes in regulations controlling the use of chemical, water, biological control agents and use of waste materials in the production chain are all likely to impact on microbial and animal diversity and abundance. Similarly, climate change is also likely to be a major driver of change.

This project will focus on two key areas:

1) Scoping of food quality and safety issues arising from changes in farm practice (specifically from regulatory control and inputs);

2) Scoping of food quality and safety issues arising from likely changes in UK climate.
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Objective
The aim of this project is to complete a desk study on horizon scanning of future crop contamination issues related to pressures resulting from changes to the crop environment; whether through regulation, climate change and/or predicted external factors.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Horizon scanning to anticipate future crop safety and quality issues related to pressures resulting from changes to the crop environment   (346k)
• Final Report - Annex : Horizon scanning to anticipate future crop safety and quality issues related to pressures resulting from changes to the crop environment   (604k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £52,254
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Allocated - WHRI              
Food and Drink              
Food Chain              
Food Quality              
Food Safety              
Sustainable Consumption and Production              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain