. Energy News .

Researchers determine factors that influence spinach contamination pre-harvest
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jun 24, 2013

File image.

A team of researchers from Texas and Colorado has identified a variety of factors that influence the likelihood of E. coli contamination of spinach on farms prior to harvest. Their research is published in the July 2013 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"Microbial contamination of produce seems strongly influenced by the time since the last irrigation, the workers' personal hygiene and the field's use prior to planting of produce," says first author Sangshin Park of Texas A and M University, College Station. "These factors, together with the role of weather in produce contamination should be the targets of future research efforts to design cost-effective strategies for control of produce contamination."

E. coli contamination of spinach on farms in Colorado and Texas was 172 times more likely if the produce field was within 10 miles of a poultry farm, and 64 times more likely if irrigated by pond water, says Park.

As E. coli is commonly used as an indicator of fecal contamination with food-borne pathogens, the practice of hygiene-availability of portable toilets and hand-washing stations for workers in the fields -and the absence of grazing or hay production on the fields prior to planting spinach, reduced the risk seven-fold.

Other potential risk factors tested in the study included numbers of workers, farm size, organic vs. conventional production, the use of chemical fertilizers, compost, and manure, says Park. The researchers assayed 955 spinach samples from 12 farms in the two states, finding that generic E. coli was present on 63 of them (6.6 percent).

Of particular note, the researchers tested their statistical model for spinach contamination to determine how accurately it was able to pinpoint the level of contamination. "The assessment of the predictive performance of a developed statistical model is largely omitted from food safety studies," says Park. Their methodology may serve as a useful template for future investigations of contamination on farms, he says.

"Because produce is commonly consumed raw, it would be best to prevent pre-harvest contamination by food-borne pathogens all together or at least to reduce it," says Park.

A copy of the article can be found online here


Related Links
American Society for Microbiology
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Research suggests plants capable of employing quantum physics
Castelldefels, Spain (UPI) Jun 21, 2013
Researchers in Spain say they've seen evidence plants make use of quantum physics to harvest light more efficiently. Scientists at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefels said plants gather packets of light called photons, moving them deep into their cells where energy is efficiently converted. New research suggests an effect called a "coherence" helps determine the most eff ... read more

Arianespace to launch Gokturk-1 high-resolution observation satellite

Cassini Probe to Take Photo of Earth From Deep Space

A helping hand from above for The Gambia

Lost medieval city found in Cambodia: report

Faster, More Precise Airstrikes Within Reach

TMC Design to integrate Non-GPS Based Positioning System at White Sands Missile Range

Proba-V tracking aircraft in flight from orbit

SSTL completes delivery of first four Galileo FOC satellite payloads

The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline

Whitebark Pine Trees: Is Their Future at Risk

Brazil's restive natives step protests over land rights

Brazilian official resigns over indigenous protests

A cheaper drive to 'cool' fuels

When green algae run out of air

An environmentally friendly battery made from wood

Researchers develop highly effective method for converting CO2 into methanol

EU trade chief sees speedy end to China solar row

Future looks bright for carbon nanotube solar cells

Uncovering quantum secret in photosynthesis

Qatar comes to rescue of Germany's Solarworld

Spanish downturn a disaster for green energy

New certified small wind turbine announced for US market

Mongolia confronts smog with launch of first wind farm

New certified small wind turbine announced for US market

Report: Alpha Australian coal project is 'stranded'

Germany's top court hears case against giant coal mine

Glencore Xstrata cancels coal export terminal plans

Proposed U.S. Northwest coal export project scrapped

Blind Chinese activist Chen arrives in Taiwan

NYU denies Chen forced out over China tie-up

US lashes China, Russia for human trafficking

China arrests man who planned Tiananmen protest: wife

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement