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Reducing the Environmental Load of Food and Waterborne Pathogens on CAFOS

Sischo, William
Washington University
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End date
  1. Quantitatively describe the temporal and spatial dynamics of Salmonella, enterohemorrhagic E. coli, and cryptosporidium in animals and the environment on intensive calf rearing facilities
  2. Based on the observed dynamics of bacterial and protozooal numbers on calf ranches, develop risk models for the flow, load, and persistence of these organisms on calf ranches
  3. Model the impact of two interventions animal housing and feeding routine change and nutrition supplementation to decrease shedding rates and concentration on the environmental load of food and waterborne pathogens
  4. Implement modeled interventions on demonstration farms and validate the model outcomes and assess economic outcomes
  5. From the results of the proposed research, previous work, and literature, develop a 4-tiered approach to educating those responsible for working with calves and those responsible for educating calf owners and evaluate the use of the resulting curriculum and educational materials.
More information
Non-Technical Summary: The diffusion of food and waterborne pathogens from the animal production environment may contribute to contamination of non-animal food products. This project investigates interventions that will change the loading dose of food and water borne pathogens within the environments of confined animal feeding operations.

Approach: The project has three major activities which are innovative and will develop valuable information to help understand the flow of micro-organisms within an animal food production system. The first is to quantitatively map out the diffusion or spread of micro-organisms within a calf production system, The second is to develop a risk assessment model based on the observed measured diffusion and can be used to hypothesize and model the effectiveness of interventions to change microbial environmental diffusion. The third is to evaluate a set of interventions that have been proposed to reduce the overall prevalence and flow of micro-organisms of food safety concern and are used to validate and improve the risk assessment model. As a consequence of these activities an extension program disseminating the approach and the outcomes will be developed and delivered.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Education and Training
Escherichia coli
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication