Summary of Awards to Date

Determining the environmental factors contributing to the extended survival or regrowth of foodborne pathogens in composting systems.

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May. 1, 2007 - Oct. 1, 2008

Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety

Amount Awarded



Xiuping Jiang, Ph.D.
Clemson University


Zehnder, G. and Luo, F.


This study examines the effectiveness of composting for inactivating pathogens in manure, given that raw or inadequately composted animal waste applied to growing fields is a potential pre-harvest source of produce contamination. The primary mechanism for pathogen inactivation during outdoor composting is microorganism-related heat generation. In practice, the effectiveness of pathogen inactivation varies with environmental factors, including temperature, rainfall, nutrient sources, compost ingredients, and pathogens induced heat resistance.