WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, May 2017




FDA CFSAN Site Visit to WCFS

May 15-16, 2017
Davis, CA

FDAEric Olsen, Mickey Parish and Samir Assar from FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) met with Rob Atwill, Michele Jay-Russell, and Linda Harris and their respective staff and students to review WCFS projects. Cindy Lewis from FDA’s Produce Safety Network (PSN) Western Region (covering Alaska, California, Hawai’i, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Island) also joined the meeting.

WCFS was established in 2008 as a cooperative agreement to address the development of research approaches and data critical to high priority public health issues addressing FDA regulated fresh fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. It is one of four FDA academic Centers of Excellence around the country formed to reduce foodborne illness and improve public health.




FDA CFSAN Tour of Almond and Walnut Facilities

May 17, 2017
Linden/Stockton/Modesto, CA


Mickey Parish and Samir Assar, accompanied by WCFS participants Linda Harris, Michele Jay-Russell, Anne-laure Moyne, Rupi Mashiana, and Erin DiCaprio, went on a tour of almond and walnut hullers and processors. They toured Prima Noce Packing in Linden, CA (walnut hulling and walnut packing) as well as Boersma Farms almond hulling/shelling facility (photo) and Blue Diamond almond processing facility in Salida. They were joined by representatives from the California Walnut Board, the DFA of California, the Almond Board of California and the Almond Alliance of California. They ended the day in Modesto at the Almond Board of California office and were joined by members of the pistachio industry and the Administrative Committee for Pistachios for a round table discussion on implementation of the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls Rules in the California tree nut industry.  






2017 Western Food Safety Summit
Day 1: FSMA Rules and Applied Food Safety Science Sessions 

May 3-4, 2017
Salinas, CA

Post Summit Survey-Risk Assessment Info

Melissa L. Partyka from the Atwill Lab presented at Hartnell College’s 2017 Western Food Safety Summit in Salinas, CA. The morning session was entitled “Water Quality- Sampling, Harvest”, where Melissa presented “Agricultural Water Quality Testing under FSMA: Where Do We Stand.” The afternoon portion was entitled, “Risk to Leafy Greens from Irrigation Mediated Transfer of Contaminated Feces Followed by Subsequent Die-Off: A Case Study”; this was based on research funded though FDA-CFSAN Risk Assessment Program.





WIFSS-NAU Lunch Time Challenge 

May 9, 2017
UC Davis

NAU Lunch Time Challenge

A video conference between WIFSS and Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) showcased presentations charting the final results of the 2017 UC Davis WIFSS-NAU Lunch Time Challenge. The Lunch Time Challenge was born out of the 2017 NAU – UC Davis Graduate Education Conference on One Health held at UC Davis, January 23 – February 10, 2017.

Discussion sessions and team projects at the 3-week conference raised awareness of how individuals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds can identify problems at the interface of people, animals and the environment, and find solutions to the problems.  Friendships forged through team projects continued upon the students’ return to China. Through the Lunch Time Challenge the Dragon Aggies, One Piece, and Green Shield continued working on problems they’d identified at the conference.

The teams met during 16 lunch times over the course of three months.  They researched data, held workshops, conducted surveys and got the word out on the street, and via the internet, about antibiotic resistance, air pollution, and dairy quality.

Bennie Osburn, Chris Brunner, and Jenny Chen participated in May 9 meeting in which the students reported their Lunch Time Challenge accomplishments. For example, the team, One Piece, encouraged people to ride share bicycles by promoting various ride-share apps on WeChat. They challenged people to pick a side between clean air and dirty air.





FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops

May 9 and 11, 2017
Yakima and Wanatchee, WA

FSMA Water Quality Workshop

Melissa Partyka and Ronald Bond from the Atwill Lab conducted two agricultural water quality workshops in the Yakima and Wenatchee Valleys of Central Washington State. Workshops were co-hosted by Washington State Tree Fruit Association with specialty crop block-grant funds along with the help of Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. The workshops were attended by 30+ total participants in the Yakima region and 25+ in the Wenatchee region. The workshops focused on disseminating the agricultural water requirements under FSMA and to demonstrate on farm situational aseptic water sampling techniques. The participants were from the major packinghouses, grower marketing groups, on-farm food safety supervisors, irrigation districts, and analytical labs and greater than 90 percent found the workshops were necessary and wanted them repeated according to pre and post surveys.




Microbial Challenge Testing for Foods 2017

May23-24, 2017
Chicago, IL

Kathy Glass and Don Schaffner

Linda Harris taught this workshop with colleagues Kathy Glass (University of Wisconsin) and Don Schaffner (Rutgers University).  Harris’ presentations were entitled “Pathogens of concern” and “Sampling intervals and test conditions”.  This is the eighth time this course has been offered by these presenters in collaboration with the International Association for Food Protection, and it has sold out every year.







Good Fruit Grower Magazine

May 10, 2017
UC Davis

Food Safety Answers: What’s in your water?-Videos

Good Fruit Grower Magazine produced a series of YouTube videos based on water sampling demonstrations at the FSMA Water Quality Workshops in Central Washington State. The videos (below) feature Ronald F. Bond and Melissa L. Partyka from WCFS Atwill Lab.


FSMA Water Sampling 101: Irrigation Canal Water


FSMA Water Sampling 101: Piped Water Samping


FSMA Water Sampling 101: Pond Assessment






Chase, J. A., Atwill, E. R., Partyka, M. L., Bond, R. F., & Oryang, D. (2017). Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Romaine Lettuce When Inoculated in a Fecal Slurry Matrix. J Food Prot, 80(5), 792-798. doi:10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-307.

A field trial was conducted to quantify the inactivation rate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 when mixed with fecal slurry and applied to romaine lettuce leaves. The findings can help generate inactivation times following a potential contamination incident and provide insight into the survival of E. coli O157:H7 transferred via splash from a contaminated fecal source onto produce during irrigation. The abstract is available here.