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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Temperature and relative humidity of produce throughout the cold chain can greatly affect the quality and safety of the food product. Different packaging systems or containers can provide better cooling environments for food products that could decrease temperature abuse and ultimately safety risks. In this study we compiled temperature and relative humidity profiles of broccoli packed in different shipping containers throughout the produce supply chain. The shipping containers looked at were the wax corrugated box, reusable plastic containers (RPC), and Eco Pack Green Box with and without a lid. Large differences were seen in the temperature profiles of each package during the first 15 hours of the cold chain with the wax-corrugated boxes showing the slowest rate of cooling. Growth rates of Salmonella sp. and Listeria monocytogeneson broccoli at different temperatures were also determined. Salmonella sp.showed a greater ability to grow on inoculated broccoli than Listeria monocytogenesduring higher temperatures such as 20° C and 37° C. Temperature profiles along with microbial counts from produce lots have been previously recorded; this is the first study to record temperature and relative humidity profiles in conjunction with bacterial growth data of lab inoculated produce.


First Advisor

Lynne McLandsborough