WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, February 2017




NAU-UC Davis Graduate Education Conference for One Health 

January 23 - February 23, 2017
UC Davis

NAU Conference

WIFSS hosted the NAU-UC Davis Graduate Education Conference on One Health for Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) undergraduate students, January 23 – February 10. Nineteen NAU graduate students also participated in the conference, January 22-24. The conference focused on graduate education, and highlighted One Health.

Members of the WIFSS team participating in the conference included, Bennie Osburn who welcomed the students on opening day and shared opportunities for graduate education at UC Davis. Gregory Wlasiuk gave an overview of the Davis community, and he and Sara Garcia advised the students on procedures for applying to graduate school. Heather Johnson presented information about project-based learning for food safety. Xunde Li lectured on studies of antibiotic resistance in dairy farms in California, and Michael Payne discussed dairy food safety and antibiotic use. The students learned how to identify potential risk factors on a produce operation in David Goldenberg’s presentation. Emily Kunz provided tips for building videos for marketing One Health.

Group leaders Amanda Arens, David Goldenberg, and Heather Johnson, fostered a spirit of team work as the students progressed toward their closing-day presentations, which included descriptions of their chosen food safety or environmental problem, the short and long term solutions to the problem, and their vision of what it looks like when the problem is solved. Bennie Osburn, Chris Brunner and Jenny Chen were the conference coordinators.

WIFSS-NAU Water Sampling Video


Adding to the success of the conference were Elizabeth Antaki, Ronald Bond, and Melissa Partyka from the Western Center for Food Safety. Ronald and Melissa talked to the students about why and how we test irrigation water prior to taking the group on a field trip to take water samples at Putah Creek, and returning to the lab to test water samples. Elizabeth reviewed the work taking place in experimental greenhouse trials assessing the zoonotic risks in aquaponic lettuce production. 





Technical Forum on Produce Safety for FDA Funded Researchers

February 8-9, 2017
Greenbelt, MD


Faculty and staff from WCFS participated in a forum hosted by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) for research scientists who have received funding from FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) to present findings from their studies on fresh produce. In addition to the research scientists funded by CFSAN, the meeting was attended by FDA risk analysts, scientists, and technical experts. Talks presented by WCFS researchers included:

Prevalence and levels of Salmonella in poultry litter and E. coli O157:H7 and STEC in cattle manure on the West Coast (CA and AZ), East Coast (DE) and Florida (Michele Jay-Russell, Peiman Aminabadi, and Kalmia Kniel, Univ. of Delaware)

Survival dynamics of generic E. coli in animal feces (poultry, cattle, horse, goat) and in soil in vegetable fields (Michele Jay-Russell)

Irrigation mediated transfer of E. coli O157:H7 from feces to lettuce (Robert Atwill and Jennifer Chase)

Irrigation mediated transfer of generic E. coli from feces to lettuce (Michele Jay-Russell)

Survival dynamics of pathogens on lettuce, cilantro, and basil (Linda Harris)

Survival of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal slurry, on lettuce (Robert Atwill and Jennifer Chase)




UAEM Meeting

February 21-23, 2017
Toluca, Mexico

On invitation from Dr. M. U. Alonso-Fresán, who is the Animal Health Group leader with the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Xunde Li addressed professors and students about Cryptosporidium research relevant for the Mexican livestock sector. During his February 21-23 visit at UAEM, he lectured on, An introduction of public health significance and diagnostics of Cryptosporidium, and the Prevalence, genotypes, and risk factors of Cryptosporidium in livestock, wildlife, and humans.






Annual Almond Production Meeting

February 7, 2017
Sacramento-Solano-Yolo Counties, CA

Melissa Partyka Woodland

Melissa L. Partyka and Ronald F. Bond, WCFS researchers, are working on getting the word out about the FSMA agricultural water quality regulations likely to impact Yolo County growers. Melissa spoke at the annual almond growers production meeting on Feb 7th at the University of California, Cooperative Extension Center in Woodland, CA. Partyka, a staff ecologist, and Bond, a water quality researcher, both with the Atwill Water and Foodborne Zoonotic Disease Laboratory within WCFS, will be heading up a half-day workshop for growers and industry representatives this summer. Stay tuned for dates and registration details! 













Water Sampling and Processing Training

February 7-10, 2017
UC Davis Campus

Trent Fuller Video

Ronald Bond and the Atwill Lab hosted Trent Fuller from Legacy Fruit Packers of Wapato, Washington, to learn techniques for sampling irrigation ponds and canals followed by microbiological analysis using USEPA Method 1603 and IDEXX Colilert. Trent is one of many industry members that have reached out to WCFS researches for support in the creation of in-house laboratories to process water samples for FSMA compliance. 













Public Health Microbiologist Training Program

February 22, 2017
Richmond, CA

Michele and Linda

Michele Jay-Russell was invited by Linda Guthertz, Trainer, Office of the State Laboratory Director, California Department of Public Health, to give a lecture to the certification class.  The title of Michele’s talk was Detection and Characterization of Campylobacter: Laboratory and Public Health Challenges. More information about certification in Public Health Microbiology can be found here