Theme 3: Risk Assessment

Project 8: Risk assessment in apples


To understand pathogen dynamics in apple supply chains in Australia and New Zealand, including potential for contamination and impacts of specific harvest and postharvest processes and conditions.


Examine existing pre- and postharvest risk analysis frameworks and models to inform development of a risk assessment model for apple supply chains in Australia and New Zealand for management of pathogens of concern in apples, in particular, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

Characterise potential in-field contamination of apples.

Quantify microbial dynamics during specific harvest and postharvest processes and conditions (e.g washing, sanitising, waxing, storage) for incorparation into a risk assessment framework.

Examine retail and household storage scenarios, dose-response and exposure to model human health risk.

Investigate the potential for apples to act as a proxy for risk assessment of other temperate tree and vine crops.

Relevant papers

Abadias, M., Cañamás, T. P., Asensio, A., Anguera, M., & Viñas, I. (2006). Microbial quality of commercial ‘Golden Delicious’ apples throughout production and shelf-life in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain). International journal of food microbiology, 108(3), 404-409.

McMeekin, T. A., Hill, C., Wagner, M., Dahl, A., & Ross, T. (2010). Ecophysiology of food-borne pathogens: Essential knowledge to improve food safety. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 139, S64-S78.

Perez-Rodriguez, F., Begum, M., & Johannessen, G. S. (2014). Study of the cross-contamination and survival of Salmonella in fresh apples. International journal of food microbiology, 184, 92-97.

Project personnel

Robyn McCONCHIE, Chief Investigator

Kim-Yen PHAN-THIEN, Chief Investigator


Elizabeth FRANKISH, PhD Student (Australia)

Agam NANGUL, PhD Student (New Zealand)

Hayriye BOZKURT CEKMERPostdoctoral Associate