<Ol> <LI>Develop or improve methods for control or elimination of pathogens in pre-and post harvest environments including meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables and nutmeats. <LI>Develop and validate mathematical modeling to gain understanding of pathogen behavior in macro and micro-environments. <LI>Investigate factors leading to the emergence, persistence and elimination of antimicrobial resistance in food processing and animal production environments.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Leafy greens and other raw foods are frequently contaminated with food-borne pathogens that can lead to outbreaks of food-borne illness and costly product recalls. This project seeks to define the extent and importance of bacterial transfer during processing of leafy greens in an effort to better predict the likelihood of illness and examines longwave x-ray irradiation as a novel nonthermal microbial reduction strategy. <P>
APPROACH: Work currently being conducted at Michigan State University falls under objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the multi-state project and specifically includes the following: (1) Determine the transfer coefficients for the numbers of E. coli O157:H7 from inoculated head lettuce, Romaine lettuce and spinach during conveying, washing, dewatering and shredding, (2) Determine the extent of e. coli internalization during processing of leafy greens, (3) Develop a mathematical risk model for E. coli O157:H7 contamination of leafy greens during processing and use this model to identify candidate risk mitigation strategies, (4) assess the efficacy of longwave x-ray irradiation as a microbial reduction strategy, (5) Develop industry guidelines for cooking of ground and whole muscle meat products, and (6) Identify the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter.