We are commercial date (Phoenix dactylifera) growers. Besides growing the fruit, we also harvest, process and pack and sell our dates. I am charged with evaluating our risk level from date caused food borne illnesses, and am searching for information that will help us understand the inherent food safety and date relationship. I would appreciate a contact or source from which I may learn the science. (D.M.A.)
The key issue is to prevent any possible contamination of the dates with human pathogens from the orchard until they reach the consumer. I think that worker hands and the surfaces of containers and packinghouse equipment with which the dates come in contact may be the most important potential sources of contamination. You can find a lot of relevant information about food safety on the following websites:
My colleagues, Linda Harris (email@example.com) and Trevor Suslow (firstname.lastname@example.org) are the experts on food safety within our group and you can contact them with further questions after you have had a chance to access the above-mentioned websites and read some of their writings.
-Adel A. Kader