Seminar: Produce Safety, Like Politics, Is Local: Survival of Enteric Pathogens in the Agricultural Environment and Risks to Human Health

Dr. Manan Sharma, Research Microbiologist, USDA-ARS
Image: Manan Sharma, ARS-USDA

Image: Manan Sharma, ARS-USDA

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When (Date/Time)

October 9, 2017, 3:35 PM - 4:30 PM

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The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has provided metrics and regulations concerning the microbial quality of irrigation water and biological soil amendments used in the production of fruits and vegetables intended for human consumption. These regulations have stimulated interest in the interaction enteric bacterial pathogens in non-host environments, like water, manure, and soil. Research conducted at the USDA ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory has investigated the survival and persistence of pathogens in these environments to determine which factors can influence survival durations and population levels. During this talk we will explore specific factors (manure type, soil management, geographic location) that influence survival of pathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. in biological soil amendments (manure, compost), and these related to current FDA and USDA National Organic Program guidance. This talk will also briefly discuss the prevalence of pathogens in surface waters that are used for irrigation in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. At the end of this talk hopefully a better understanding of the complexity of produce safety in the agricultural environment will be gained.

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