WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, September 2017

WCFS & WIFSS Newsletter

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We've been hard at work this month making food safer and more secure. Please have a look at where we've been. We hope you find it informative. Stop by our websites at either www.wcfs.ucdavis.edu or www.wifss.ucdavis.edu. Thank you for your continued support!

University of California, Davis


Arkansas Association for Food Protection | September 19-21, 2017, Springdale, AR

Linda Harris was an invited speaker at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Arkansas Affiliate of IAFP.   Her presentation was entitled “Low-moisture foods: Food safety challenges and opportunities.”  About one hundred food industry representatives attended.  The Arkansas Association for Food Protection (AAFP) prides itself on encompassing a premier farm-to-fork region with some of the world’s largest companies in the food industry. 


Gail Bornhorst instructing in Food Processing and Technology course for CDPH-FDB investigators.
Food Processing and Technology | September 11-15, 2017, Davis, CA

Linda Harris was one of the instructors (also participating were Juliana Bell, Gail Bornhorst, Erin DiCaprio, Amy Fletcher, Matt Ford, Kang Huang, Nitin Nitin, Chris Simmons) from the Department of Food Science and Technology, along with Steve Smith, PEN Consulting, Inc. who taught the course FD152: Food Processing and Technology to 25 California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch Investigators.  This course is part of the FDA ORA-U program for training state, local, and tribal regulators.  The course was held at the August A. Busch III Brewing & Food Science Laboratory taking advantage of the California Processing Tomato Industry Pilot Plant, Milk Processing Laboratory, and Brewery for the laboratory exercises.  
NAU-UC Davis One Health and Food Safety Workshop | September 18-20, 2017, Nanjing, China

Collaborative research projects between UC Davis, Nanjing Agricultural University, and Wageningen University were the focus of the NAU-UC Davis One Health and Food Safety Workshop, held, September 18-20, 2017, at NAU.  These projects help foster graduate training experiences and are the building blocks for a One Health Center for Food Safety and Animal Health at NAU.

Trish Berger and Jorge Rodrigues, (UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences), and Beatriz Martínez López, Robert Poppenga, and Richard Pereira, (School of Veterinary Medicine), along with Ed van Klink from Wageningen teamed with NAU colleagues to discuss potential collaboration, in the fields of epidemiology, animal breeding, antibiotic resistance, prataculture, rangeland and soil science, and chemical toxicology.  Additionally, they reviewed curriculum content and made recommendations for identifying gaps in their respective educational curriculums.

Jenny Chen and Bennie Osburn, WIFSS, met with 40 NAU students about the newly approved 3+X program for NAU undergraduate students offered through UC Davis Office of Global Affairs. This program is an opportunity for NAU students to take upper division courses at Davis to complete a non-thesis MS or MPVM degree.  NAU wants their students to take advantage of this program as part of their global educational initiative.

Chris Brunner and Osburn gave One Health presentations to a large audience of undergraduate students. Some of the students who have attended WIFSS-sponsored One Health for Food Safety conferences at UC Davis, gave enthusiastic testimonials on the impact the conferences, have made on their career goals.

Osburn and Chen met with representatives and administrators of the newly formed Institute for New Rural Development.  The institute extends research information to rural farmers and communities.  The discussions centered on having WIFSS assist with development of educational models for technology transfer and facilitating further workshops for NAU extension personnel.

Osburn, Brunner, and Chen, met with the administrators of Jiangsu Polytechnic College of Agriculture and Forestry for a tour of their teaching and applied research facilities in Jurong City.  Leadership from the college expressed an interest in signing a working agreement with UC Davis to participate in future One Health for Food Safety and Animal Health Conferences for faculty and students.

UC Davis faculty and WIFSS Outreach attend the One Health and Food Safety Workshop at Nanjing Agricultural University (left). WIFSS Outreach poses with NAU professors, and student members of the One Health Club (right).
Farm-to-Fork Festival | September 23, 2017, Sacramento, CA

WIFSS volunteers greeted record-breaking attendance crowds during the fifth annual Farm-to-Fork Festival which took place on Capitol Mall in Sacramento on September 23.  The School of Veterinary Medicine-WIFSS booth included family-friendly games. Participants answering a variety of questions focused on food safety had a chance to win the coveted squishy cow.
Thanks goes to the WIFSS and WCFS team which included Amlin AggrawalJohn AngelosRonald BondJennifer ChaseHeather JohnsonEmily KunzMelissa Partyka, Robert Pattison, and Clare Wei.
Brazilian Dairy Cooperative Meeting | September 25, 2017, Davis, CA

Representatives from the Association of Small and Medium Dairy Cooperatives and Enterprises in Brazil met with Drs. Michael Payne and Bennie Osburn at WIFSS on September 25.  They discussed the overall WIFSS program, and Dr. Payne gave an overview of the California dairy industry and its management and animal welfare practices.

WIFSS and SVM Researchers Receive Grant to Study Antimicrobial Resistance of Bacteria on Retail Meats

Xunde Li, Rob Atwill and Maurice Pitesky from the UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Cooperative Extension received a 5-year grant to study antimicrobial resistance in retail meats sold in Southern California. Collaborators include the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The objectives of the grant include antimicrobial testing of bacteria from retail meats (retail chicken, ground turkey, ground beef and pork chops) sold in West and East Los Angeles, Irvine and Ontario, California.

In addition to the sampling and testing described above, in collaboration with the CDFA and CDPH a database will be developed to better understand the connectivity between antimicrobial resistance on the farm, the retail level and at the patient level. The long-term goal is to better characterize trends in anti-microbial resistance in retail meats and to better understand the effect of policies implemented to mitigate the incidence of anti-microbial resistant bacteria in retail meats sold in the California and beyond. The grant was awarded by the FDA National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) program. The project will foster and leverage collaborations among federal and state agencies and universities in foodborne disease and antibiotic resistance detection and surveillance in order to improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance in our food supply and ultimately improve the health of food animals and Californians.

FDA Commissioner Addresses State Agriculture Commissioners; Announces New Steps to Enhance Collaboration with States and Ensure Farmers Are Prepared for FSMA

September 12, 2017

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., today outlined a number of immediate next steps in a comprehensive approach to ensuring successful implementation of the Produce Safety Rule established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In a speech in New Orleans at the annual conference of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), Dr. Gottlieb announced that the agency has recognized a need for additional efforts to educate the produce industry and state regulatory partners on the new produce safety requirements, and will continue its focus on training, guidance development, and outreach over the next year. This is particularly important since the nation’s farming community has not previously been subject to this kind of oversight.

Dr. Gottlieb also announced steps the FDA will be taking to address concerns related to the complexity and feasibility of implementing standards for agricultural water. The next steps include the following:
Agricultural Water Compliance Dates: The FDA today issued a proposed rule that, if finalized, would extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements by an additional two to four years (for produce other than sprouts).

For More Information:

WCFS is an FDA academic Center of Excellence in partnership with CFSAN. Researchers in WCFS assist FDA in fulfilling its public health mission and expand the science-base upon which future regulatory programs are developed. 

Michele Jay-Russell was quoted in a New York Post article about the Campylobacter outbreak associated with puppies sold by Petland stores. The multi-state outbreak currently includes 55 people with laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infections who live in 12 states (Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) and were exposed to puppies sold through Petland stores, according to a CDC report: Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Campylobacter Infections Linked to Contact with Pet Store Puppies.