Produce Safety

The Produce Safety Lab is dedicated to help and support the fresh produce and the minimally processed fruit and vegetable industry. Our lab integrates our research into innovation and best practices for producers.

We ensure our work is accessible and applicable to Colorado producers through outreach, extension, workshops, and our newest Food Innovation Center at CSU Spur.

Current Research


Microbial Risk Assessment of Onion Production Practices

This project focuses on quantification of risks along Dry Bulb Onion production practices and throughout harvest, storage and packing activities. Funding source: USDA SCRI


Soil Sampling and Carrot Risk Assessment

Through a combination of different soil sampling techniques, we look to elucidate what is the probably of detecting an enteric pathogen within 1 acre of land and how this potential contamination translates into transfer and persistence of those enteric pathogens to an array of carrot cultivars. Funding: CSU, SBRI and private entity

hydroponic greenhouse

Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Practices

Significant knowledge gaps exist in the Identification and quantification of enteric pathogen contamination of CEA grown crops. This project looks to identify through air, plant, surface and nutrient solution sampling, those risk factors that could transfer contamination to leaf greens. Funding source: CSU and private entity

lettuce growing in field

Extension Services

We prioritize our efforts by visiting small to medium size farms and facilities where we can offer technical assistance specific to good agricultural practices. Areas we highlight include:

  • Produce Safety Rule
  • Preventive Controls for Human Food
  • Sanitation and Disinfection Practices
  • Water Quality
  • Pre and Postharvest Practices for Fruits and Vegetables
  • Product Testing – water, soil, food, and minimally processed foods

Extension Collaborations and Useful Links

Produce Safety and Sanitation Workshops

Sanitation Workshop

And use of ATP

  • April 26th
  • September 27th

Register at Eventbrite

Produce Safety Alliance

  • April 20th
  • September 28th

Register at Eventbrite

Good Manufacturing Practices for Small and Medium Food Processing Facilities

  • May 23rd 
  • October 24th

Preventive Controls for Human Food

  • May 10th–12th 
  • November 8th–10th

Produce Safety Questions

Please submit your questions about produce safety and a member of our team will do our best to get it answered.

MM slash DD slash YYYY

runoff compost
pesticide applicator

Contact Us

Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez

Assistant Professor
Fresh Produce Safety
(970) 491-3192