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Evaluation of Amphibians and Reptiles as Potential Reservoirs of Foodborne Pathogens and Risk Reduction to Protect Fresh Produce and the Environment

Li, Hai-Ping; Atwill, Edward; Jay-Russell, Michele
University of California - Davis
Start date
End date
Our proposal will help the leafy greens produce industry determine if wild amphibians (frogs, toads) and reptiles (lizards, snakes) are potential carriers of E. coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella in the central California coast produce production region.

We will identify management practices and prevention strategies that reduce the risk of contamination of leafy greens and nearby waterways by these species. Statistical procedures and epidemiological methods will be used to complete three objectives:

  1. Determine if wild amphibians and reptiles are reservoirs of E. coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella in the central California coast;
  2. Identify farm production practices, environmental factors and control strategies that reduce the risk of contamination from amphibian and reptile species in the leafy greens produce growing environment;
  3. Extend knowledge of preventing produce contamination by amphibians and reptiles to the produce community.
The science-based data from this study will support co-management to promote both food safety and environmental goals in the central California coast. Specifically, the results will improve pre-season and pre-harvest environmental assessments and interventions as required in the Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (LGMA) metrics, in particular those addressing animal intrusions.
Funding Source
Center for Produce Safety
Project number
Bacterial Pathogens
Meat, Poultry, Game