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Ecology, transmission and control of Salmonella and shigatoxin producing E. coli in integrated crop-livestock farm


Major goals of this project is to evaluate the persistence of Salmonella andshigatoxin producing E. coliin the environment of intigrated crop-livestock farms (ICLFs), or in hosts/reservoirs, and the process by which produce becomes contaminated. This project will also develop effective practices to control contamination of ICLF products by these pathogens at the pre-harvest stage and assess the role of natural antimicrobial to eliminate these emerging zoonotic agents from ICLF products at the post-harvest level. The goals of this project include identification of ecological factor dynamics and paths of major produce-borne microbial pathogens in ICLFs and develop farm-friendly post-harvest processing practices to protect fresh produce from pathogen contamination sold directly or through farmer's markets to consumers. Development and use of science-based food production, harvesting, and handling practices will not only improve profitability for small to mid-sized organic fresh produce growers and on-farm processors, but also improve consumer/buyer confidence and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal infections in human from consumption of contaminated produce. To achieve our research goals, we will pursue the following objectives: 1. Determine the sources, survival and persistence ability in the various components of the ICLF environment and contamination pathways of SE and STEC; 2. Develop practical means to control SE and STEC in ICLF environment and eliminate their survival on harvested fresh produce by developing and using novel farm-friendly manure composting methods and natural antimicrobial sanitizers and wash aids; 3. Disseminate outcomes of the project and measures for controlling fresh produce contamination through on-farm practices and post-harvest processing to diverse stakeholders.

Biswas, Debabrata
University of Iceland
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