Aug. 1, 2011 - Dec. 31, 2011Award Number
Trevor Suslow, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
The purpose of this Rapid Response field study was to assess the potential public health hazard, within a unique on-farm data gathering opportunity, of a cantaloupe field adjacent to a small dairy operation. Our objective was to document the likelihood of presumed, localized dispersal of contaminants due to ag-traffic, animal activity, and other direct and indirect transfer of fecal indicators and pathogens from the animal facility before the intended initiation of harvest at that location. In addition, the Rapid Response opportunity permitted the assessment of commercial kits and in-house UC Davis developed molecular methods (up to six different methods) to detect EHEC and Salmonella enterica in melons harboring low levels of stress-adapted pathogen populations against a high background of microbial populations and adhering soil.