UMES researcher targets seafood safety
PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (April 14, 2011)Five years worth of research aimed at improving the safety and quality characteristics of seafood is what distinguishes Dr. Salina Parveen, a member of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).
Parveen, as associate professor in the UMES Food Science and Technology Ph.D. Program and in her role as principal investigator, has been awarded more than $1.2 million in external funding through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Capacity Building Grants Program and the National Research Initiative to carry out her purposes. She has worked in tandem with Dr. Jurgen Schwarz, UMES; Tom Rippen, Maryland Sea Grant; Dr. Mark Tamplin, University of Tasmania, Australia; Dr. Angelo DePaola and John Bowers, Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Dr. Martin Wiedman, Cornell University; Drs. Michael Jahncke and Dan Kauffman, Virginia Tech; Kathy Brohawn, Maryland Department of Environment; and Dr. John Luchansky, USDA-ARS (Agriculture Research Service). Her study involving the prevalence, growth, survival and control of Listeria momocytogenes in blue crab meat have yielded results indicating that raw live crabs and associated surfaces are potentially important sources of L. monocytogenes contamination in blue crab meat and in crab processing plants.
Findings have been shared with the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association and the Maryland Department of Agriculture Seafood Marketing Program as part of a Maryland crabmeat industry continuous improvement program that provides biweekly reports customized for each crab processing plant. During the study, participating plants were assisted with Listeria control strategies, including sanitation protocols and cross-contamination prevention.
The group also investigated the effect of storage temperature on the growth and survival of human foodborne pathogenic Vibrio bacteria in oysters. The results of the project fills data gaps in international risk assessment for these pathogens in oysters and will be used by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the FDA and organizations in other countries to develop more accurate risk management practices. Moreover, the FDA is planning to use the research findings in designing and implementing a Vibrio control plan.
Recently, Parveen’s research group received funding to evaluate two low-cost methods for reducing the contamination of post-harvest oysters with Vibrio. Drs. Parveen and Paulinus Chigbu, director of the UMES Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, are working with Delaware State University, the University of Delaware and the USDA-ARS to develop a multi-institutional research proposal on seafood safety for submission to the USDA. Seafood safety researchers at UMES have trained nine international scientists, one postdoctoral associate, one laboratory technician, 13 undergraduates and 11 graduates (four M.S. and seven Ph.D.) and has generated more than 35 invited presentations, peer reviewed journal articles and abstracts.
For more information about seafood research at UMES, call 410-621-3850.
Suzanne Waters Street, agriculture communication specialist, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, 410-621-3850, firstname.lastname@example.org.