WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, April 2017




Soil Summit 2017

March 28-29, 2017
Geneva, NY

Produce Safety Alliance

Michele Jay-Russell and Alda Pires attended the Soil Summit hosted by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) and the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University. The Soil Summit brought together the farming community, compost and soil experts, extension educators, industry members, and state and federal regulators to discuss the challenges and benefits of using raw manure and compost on fruit and vegetable farms. Soil amendments such as raw manure and compost have a double-edged sword. They offer clear benefits to agricultural production, nutrient management, and plant health, but if they are not handled properly, they can pose potential environmental and food safety risks. During the day and a half long meeting, an open dialogue through the use of break-out sessions offered meeting attendees a platform to discuss a variety of topics including current uses of raw manure, challenges to proper composting and handling raw manure, compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, and resources, education, and funding necessary to overcome identified barriers.

On May 4, 2017, the Produce Safety Alliance staff as well as David Ingram, Consumer Officer with the FDA Division of Produce Safety, will provide their insight into the key outcomes and learnings from the meeting and highlight identified educational needs and next steps in discussion of the challenges associated with soil amendment use of produce farms. The meeting is open to the public, no registration is necessary. The meeting will be recorded and posted on the PSA website and NECAFS website within one week if you are unable to attend.


Upcoming Meeting Information

What: Produce Safety Educator & NECAFS Monthly Meeting
When: Thursday, May 4, 2017 – 1:30-2:30 pm
Meeting Info: Join the meeting
Registration: Open to all - no registration required
Recording available after the call at: The PSA website and the NECAFS website






Ranch Readiness Day

April 30, 2017
Sonoma County Fairgrounds and Event Center


Michael PayneDairy Outreach Coordinator with WIFSS, and a volunteer firefighter for the Vacaville Fire Protection District, spoke about Saving the Ranch: Behind the Fireline in Real Time, at Ranch Readiness Day in Sonoma, on April 30. The event is committed to helping families, farmers and ranchers, and the animals they love and depend upon, to be prepared for emergencies. It featured internationally-known speakers and informative demonstrations. Ranch Readiness Day connects first responders with the resources they need to provide safe and humane services when animals are involved.







All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters

March 30, 2017
Highland Heights, KY


The AWR 328 awareness level course in All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters was held in Highland Heights, KY. Thirty-two people, representing Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio emergency management associations, animal control, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, rural community emergency managers, and Kentucky Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (CART), attended the AWR 328 the one-day class. Tracey Stevens, an animals in disaster instructor with WIFSS, was the course instructor, where participants showed their leadership skills in table top exercises related to the protection, response, and recovery from the consequences of disasters (e.g. fire, flood, heat, earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, hazardous materials and catastrophic disease exposure) involving animals in rural communities.  





Animal Nutrition Class

April 17, 2017
Rocklin, CA

Sierra College

While having national recognition, WIFSS is always looking for collaborations with local community colleges. On April 17th Michael Payne was invited to address animal nutrition students at Sierra College located in Rocklin. Covering veterinary perspectives of animal care and public health, the three hours of lectures used videos and animation to cover farm evaluations, antimicrobial drug resistance, case studies in feed toxicology and even “Mad Cow Disease.” Besides providing background reading references, Payne also helped arrange other speakers as well as access to WIFSS on-line training courses














Global Food Security Course

April 18, 2017
Philadelphia, PA

WorldUndergraduate and post-graduate students from across the University of Pennsylvania campus, including the Wharton School and Penn Vet School, were in attendance at the lecture presented by Bennie Osburn for the course on Global Food Security. Osburn lectured, via Skype, on the subject, “One Health Education: A Novel Approach to Food Safety.”

Total enrollment for the University of Pennsylvania Global Food Security course is 173. The interdisciplinary course, taught in collaboration with Penn’s Department of Anthropology, discusses the complex subject of the diverse livestock production systems and the potential role veterinary medicine plays in food security.

Osburn talked about the big problem of foodborne diseases as the cause of 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths a year, and taking a One Health approach which includes raising awareness of the problems of food safety from farm to fork; multidisciplinary team work, and taking action, as a solution to the problem.














Introduction to One Health Course

April 17 & 19, 2017
Seattle, WA

Seattle One Health Intro

Michele Jay-Russell was invited to speak as a guest lecturer on the topic “The Gut— Microbiome and Foodborne Disease” at the School of Public Health, University of Washington. Course leaders were Peter Rabinowitz, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Pubic Health, and director of the Center for One Health Research, and and Marguerite Pappaioanou, an Affiliate Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and former WIFSS board member. Approximately 40 graduate and undergraduate students learned about the role of the microbiome (and the gut biome) in human and animal health, and a One Health approach to ensure food safety. Students worked in groups on a Case Study to identify human, animal, and environmental approaches to investigate a multistate foodborne outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to contaminated leafy greens.














WIFSS Food Safety and Livestock Health Training

April 17-19, 2017
Davis, CA

Clare and Livestock Training

María Uxúa Alonso-Fresán and Valente Velázquez Ordoñez from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM) came to WIFSS for a 3-day training on food safety and livestock health. Rob Atwill presented WIFSS’ recent research on the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in livestock and wild rodents in California. Atwill also talked about strategies for control Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157:H7, and other foodborne pathogens in livestock and produce fields. Topics of the training program included:

  • Epidemiology and genotyping of Cryptosporidium in livestock and wild rodents
  • Diagnostics of Cryptosporidium from livestock and wildlife
  • DNA extraction and PCR for Cryptosporidium DNA sequence fingerprinting
  • Membrane filtration and ultrafiltration for detection indicator and pathogenic bacteria
  • Approaches for qualitative and quantitative detection of E. coli O157:H7

Ronny Bond demonstrated water filtration for detection of Cryptosporidium and other pathogens. Tran Nguyen demonstrated fluorescence microscopy for detection of Cryptosporidium and Xiaohong Wei demonstrated methods for DNA extraction and PCR for genotyping Cryptosporidium. Jennifer Chase discussed methods for quantitation of E. coli O157 from livestock, produce and other samples.

Alonso-Fresán is the Animal Health Group leader with the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia of UAEM. Valente Velázquez Ordoñez is faculty in veterinary medicine and zoonotic diseases from the Centro De Diagnostico En Salud Animal (Center of Diagnostics in Animal Health) with interest in cattle health. Currently Alonso-Fresán, Atwill, and Li have a UC MEXUS – CONACYT proposal pending to study seasonal subtropical highland climate changes on cattle health in Central Mexico using Cryptosporidium as a biomarker.