UMass Amherst Researcher To Study Tomato Safety

AMHERST (AP) — A scientist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has received a two-year grant to study ways to assure the safe handling of commercially grown tomatoes.

Lynne McLandsborough, an expert on bacterial growth, plans to set up an experimental tomato-handling station at the university’s food lab, similar to stations found at farms in California and Florida. She says her team will try to better understand how bacterial cross-contamination can occur from one surface to another.

McLandsborough has previously studied bacterial transfer rates from food handling equipment to cheese and cold cuts.

The grant of nearly $236,000 is one of 17 given by the Center for Product Safety in California to improve safety in the growth and harvesting of fresh produce.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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