WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, March 2016




FDA Feeds Meetings

February 22-26, 2016
Hallmark Inn, Davis, CA

WIFSS hosted a meeting of the Animal Feed Curriculum Framework Project as part of the collaborative project to develop a competency-based curriculum framework for state animal feed control officials in the U.S. The feeds curriculum is to help satisfy the training called for in Standard 2 of the Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS). 

The project, which is being led by the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), involves an Expert Workgroup representing state animal feed control agencies, FDA’s Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD), FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and UC Davis’ Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS).

There were fifteen in attendance at the meeting held last month in Davis, including Heather JohnsonMike Payne and Bennie Osburn from WIFSS. The curriculum under development will be used by state feed inspectors as they standardize their approaches to regulating feeds. Through a series of meetings with these subject matter experts the key process and procedures are being developed that will be needed to assure that all animal feed products meet the new FSMA guidelines.







27th Vertebrate Pest Conference

March 7-10, 2016
Newport Beach, CA

Several papers were presented by WCFS/WIFSS and collaborators at the 27th Vertebrate Pest Conference (full program).

Laurel Sellers, currently with University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)-Woodland, presented “Impact of Field Border Plantings on Rodents and Food Safety Concerns.” Overall, a low prevalence of E. coli (non-O157 STEC:  1.4%, n = 353; O157 STEC:  0%, n = 353) and Salmonella (0.8%, n = 353) was found, while Giardia (29.2%, n = 137) and Cryptosporidium (24.1%, n = 137) were more prevalent in captured rodents. The findings suggest that hedgerows do not appear to have a negative impact on crop damage or food-safety concerns in California walnut orchards.  Michele Jay-Russell and Xunde Li were co-investigators on the research project along with Roger Baldwin (Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology) and Rachel Long (UCCE-Woodland).  Last year, Laurel received her M.S. in International Agricultural Development at UC Davis. A link to her thesis abstract can be found here.

Laurel Sellers

Laurel Sellers


Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, WCFS Postdoctoral Scholar, presented “Use of falconry as deterrent of nuisance birds in leafy greens fields in Northern California.”  This project (PI: Jay-Russell) was funded as a proof-of-concept study by the Center for Produce Safety (CPS).  Nora conducted the study in Monterey County produce fields with Kathleen Tigan, professional falconer from Tactical Avian Predators, and her trained bird abatement raptors.  She concluded that 1) bird activity in adjacent land is important in the control of nuisance birds; 2) falconry can reduce the use of fields by birds in days of high bird pressure/ activity; and 3) use of falconry is related to lower fecal contamination in lettuce, probably because of less time spent on the field by birds. Nora received a UCD Postdoctoral Scholars Association travel award to help with costs to attend the conference.

Kathleen Tigan and Nora Navarro-Gonzalexz

Kathleen Tigan (left) and Nora Navarro-Gonzalez


Paula Rivadeinera (former WCFS postdoctoral scholar) currently with the University of Arizona-Yuma presented “Pathogen risks related to the movement of birds frequenting livestock and fresh produce growing areas in the southwestern U.S.” This project was also funded by CPS (PI: Jay-Russell) and included collaborators from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Findings from the study indicate that growers should continue efforts to deter large flocks of nuisance birds from defecating in produce fields, and may need to increase the buffer zone distance from a leafy green field to a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) beyond 400 feet environmental assessments indicate a significant risk of bird activity in the field.

Paula Rivadeinera

Paula Rivadeinera










Webinar Presentation

February 29, 2016

Linda Harris presented a one and a half hour talk on “Propylene oxide and the tree nut industry” to staff at the Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT). There were 85 participants from across the U.S..







4th Annual North Coast Farmer’s Convergence

March 1-2, 2016
Willits and Hopland, CA

Michele Jay-Russell was a Roundtable co-Facilitator with Alda Pires on the topic Learn how to safely use animal biological amendments on your farm on Day 1 of the meeting in Willits. Day 2 was a Food Safety and FSMA Workshop held at the Hopland Research and Extension Center. Michele gave two invited presentations, “Using Animal Biological Amendments”and “Farm and Wildlife Interface.” Alda Pires and Trevor Suslow from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) also presented on food safety at the workshop on Day 2, which was attended by about 30 farmers and farm supporters..







29th Annual Small Farm Conference

March 6-7, 2016
Sacramento, CA

Linda Harris participated in a pre-conference workshop on Starting a SUCCESSFUL specialty food business for the California Small Farm Conference. Her talk was entitled “Staying safe and legal: Food safety and regulations.” About 20 food entrepreneurs attended.

Michele Jay-Russell was Moderator at a workshop on Food safety on biodiversified small size farms and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Presenters for the workshop were Dave Runsten, Community Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF); Paul Underhill, Terra Firma Farm, and Marisa Alcorta formerly with Pie Ranch; and Alda Pires, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, UCCE, ANR. They also had a booth in the exhibit for organic farmers with information about the Raw Manure and Compost survey for organic farmers.

James Stover

James Stover, WCFS undergraduate at exhibit booth 







Humphrey Fellows

March 14, 2016
WIFSS, Davis, CA

Members of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program from Cambodia, Madagascar, Nepal and Mexico attended a meeting held at WIFSS on March 14, to learn more about the One Health for Food Safety program. Michele Jay-RussellHeather JohnsonJohn Angelos, and Bennie Osburn discussed the research programs in the WCFS, the blended learning approach to instruction used by WIFSS, the outline of the new curricular framework being developed for the One Health concepts for food safety, and the WIFSS outreach, training, and water quality programs. There was considerable interest on the part of the visitors, and some plan to spend additional time with the WIFSS faculty during their time at UC Davis. 







Master Food Preserver Program

March 12, 15, and 21, 2016
PlacervilleSan Luis Obispo, and Bishop, CA

Linda Harris gave several presentations to about 75 (total) Master Food Preserver volunteers in El Dorado, San Luis Obispo, and Inyo/Mono counties. The Master Food Preserver program is a state-wide program similar in structure to the Master Gardener Program. The topics were "Basic principles of food preservation”, “Controlling microbial growth/food preservation”, “Botulism,” and “Steam canners”. Also in San Luis Obispo on March 15, Linda gave a presentation on The Food Safety Modernization Act: Pre- and Post-harvest water” to small farmers, gleaning organization, community gardens/master gardener staff. There were 15 attendees for this talk.







Preventive Controls for Human Food Lead Trainer Workshop

March 8-10 and 29-31, 2016
Davis, CA

Linda Harris hosted two workshops on becoming Preventive Controls for Human Food Lead Trainers.  Instructors from the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance taught the course, including Bob Brackett, Director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health.  Twenty-nine people attended the March 8-10 workshop and another 32 the March 29-31 workshop. Staff from the California Department of Public Health and several faculty from UC Davis became Food Safety Preventive Controls Lead Instructors including Linda Harris, Trevor Suslow, Alda Pires, and Michele Jay-Russell.







Global Food Security

March 29, 2016
University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

Bennie Osburn will be a guest lecturer on March 29 in the course on Veterinary Medicine and Global Food Security at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. In his lecture on “Food Safety: The Wicked Problem,” he will talk to the class of 120 plus students about career opportunities in the area of global health and food safety.







Pilot Courses

March 15 and 16, 2016
WIFSS, Davis, CA

The WIFSS training team including Amanda ArensHeather JohnsonMike PayneTracey StevensBennie OsburnJessica CadrielGregory WlasiukEmily Kunz, and David Goldenberg, met in March to fine tune the delivery of two pilot courses for the Department of Homeland Security certified courses that are offered through the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium.

AWR328AWR 328, All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters, is an awareness level course that will provide tools to protect, respond to, and recover from the consequences of disasters such as fire, flood, heat, earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, hazardous materials and catastrophic disease exposure involving animals in rural communities.

MGT448MGT 448, All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disasters, is a management level course providing the background information needed to lead a multi-agency team of emergency planners in the development of an Emergency Support Function, (ESF), annex for food and/or animal related disasters to supplement their community's existing Emergency Operation Plan, (EOP).

The first pilot course for AWR 328 All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters takes place in Sacramento, CA, on April 6. Register here.

A pilot course for MGT 448, All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disasters, will take place in Sacramento, CA, on April 7. Register here.









WCFS Website

New on the WCFS website is a section on Agricultural Water, which includes version 2 of the water calculator.







Risk Assessment of Foodborne Illness Associated With Pathogens From Produce Grown in Fields Amended With Untreated Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin; Request for Scientific Data, Information, and Comments

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting scientific data, information, and comments that would assist the Agency in its plan to develop a risk assessment for produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (including raw manure). The Federal Register announcement is available here.  Comments are due by May 3, 2016.

For more information:

FSMA Final Rule on Produce Safety: Raw Manure; Questions and Answers with Samir Assar