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Cultivation Practices Can Either Reduce Or Boost Risk Of Bacterial Contamination Of Produce

October 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Data collected in the field by U.S. researchers has linked certain cultivation practices on farms to either an increased or decreased likelihood of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes contamination of produce. The two bacteria sicken an estimated 9.4 million people – and kill 1,300 – each year. They found, for example, that applying manure to fields in the year before cultivation boosted the odds of Salmonella contamination. However, establishing a buffer zone between fields and potential pathogen reservoirs such as livestock operations or waterways protected produce. When fields were irrigated within three days before collection of soil samples, the risk of listeria contamination ballooned six-fold. In addition, soil cultivation within the week before sampling also increased the chances of contamination.
Strawn et al. , "Risk Factors Associated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes Contamination of Produce Fields", Applied and Environmental Microbiology, October 21, 2013, © American Society for Microbiology
Food & Nutrition
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United States of America
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