Food Supply Contamination

Federal initiatives encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables as a way to reduce risks for cancer, heart disease, obesity and other chronic diseases.

However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientists note that with this increase in consumption of fresh produce an unexpected increase in food-borne illnesses has occurred.

The CDC estimates that of the 76 million people who suffer from food-borne illnesses annually, 300,000 are hospitalized and approximately 5,000 people die.

Although the majority of food supply contamination events are unintentional, the potential for bioterrorism is a concern for the whole food system which includes the production, processing, transportation, retail industries and consumers.

Producer and Grower Resources

Good Agricultural Practices Program for Fruit and Vegetable Safety (GAPs) – a national effort with a goal to reduce microbial risks in fruits and vegetables through a comprehensive extension and education program for growers and packers. GAPs is based at Cornell University.

Robert B. Gravani, Ph.D., GAPs Program Director, 607-255-3262 or
Elizabeth A. Bihn, M.S., GAPs Program Coordinator, 315-787-2625 or

National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) created to enhance national agricultural security through quick detection of pests and pathogens.

Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic provides plant disease diagnostic services for anyone interested in plant diseases including Extension educators, growers, and home gardeners.

Consumer Resources