WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, May 2016




LGMA Metrics Reviewed by Expert Panel

LGMAMichele Jay-Russell was a member of a four-person Expert Panel that reviewed the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) metrics. The Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for Production and Harvest of Leafy Greens was first published in 2007 and most recently revised in 2013. “A key focus of this revision was to identify, where possible and practical, metrics and measures that could be used to assist the industry with compliance with the guidelines…. Metrics were researched for three primary areas: water quality, soil amendments, and environmental assessments/conditions.” The panel was charged with evaluating the scientific validity of the guidelines and whether the guidelines provide at least the same level of public health protection as the new FDA Produce Rule. Their  findings, published on May 17, 2016, are summarized here. The independent review was conducted by iDecisionSciences and Western Growers. The panel also included Robert Bracket (IFSH-IIT), Kali E. Kniel (University of Delaware) and Manan Sharma (USDA-ARS). The full report is available here.














The 2nd Annual UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium

May 18, 2016
Davis, CA

Elizabeth Antaki and Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, WCFS researchers, were among more than 50 postdoctoral researchers who gave oral presentations in the 2nd annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium.  In addition, there were poster sessions and panel discussions.  Elizabeth spoke on “Assessment of Zoonotic Risks in Aquaponic Produce Production in a session entitled Agricultural Enhancements” in a session entitled Agricultural Enhancements.  Nora spoke on “Food-borne Pathogens in Free-range Cattle: Is there transmission from/to birds?” in a session entitled Contagions and Infestations.  Abstracts for all presentations are available here.







Nora and Creux

Nora Navarro-Gonzalez receiving best speaker award from Nicky Creux, event organizer, at the postdoctoral research symposium




SMS Plans

May 10-11, 2016
Pennsville, NJ

WIFSS  is a partner in USDA-state collaboration with the Secure Milk Supply Plan, (SMS), dedicated to planning for business stability during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The voluntary program seeks to pre-approve biosecurity measures which would allow continued marketing of milk during disease control efforts. Academic and regulatory representative from twelve Mid-Atlantic States met in Pennsville New Jersey to strategize on how to implement the plan on the East Coast. Michael Payne from WIFSS attended to learn how other states were addressing logistical hurdles and share some of what California is doing. 






Dairy Experts

Dairy experts from the East Coast huddle around the rear end of a milk tanker listening as the plant manager describes biosecurity efforts which would keep from spreading Hoof and Mouth Disease from one farm to another during an outbreak. 





Food Systems Disasters and Recovery

May 10 & 11, 2016
Harrionville, MO

DHS and RDPC logos

Tracey Stevens, an instructor in Animals in Disaster with WIFSS was the trainer for the AWR 155 and 156 courses which took place in Harrisonville, Missouri, on May 10 and 11. The AWR 155 course, Principles of Frontline Response to Agroterrorism and Food Systems Disasters, outlines the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) and the principles of Unified Command (UC) in an agroterrorism and food safety system disaster. First responders taking the course learned about the need to quickly identify and eradicate outbreaks of animal diseases by isolating and destroying livestock and wildlife, removing and disposing of contaminated animal products, and disposing of contaminated feed and related materials.

In the AWR 156 course, Principles of Planning and Implementing Recovery, participants were trained in recovery operations, procedures, and techniques to be implemented following an incident of agroterrorism. They learned detailed steps for planning for recovery, both within participants’ own organizations and as stakeholders in the larger community-wide incident command system.

WIFSS currently has six Department of Homeland Security certified courses that are offered through the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and aim to train first responders in rural areas of the country for disaster situations that involve or directly affect our food supply system.









Food Safety in Madagascar

May 2-6, 2016
Davis, CA

Nirina ”Feno” Randriambololona, a Humphrey Fellow, from Madagascar, spent one week at WIFSS learning about the One Health approach to food safety.  Foodborne illnesses are a major concern in her country and there are no programs at present to address the issues surrounding these diseases. During this time she reviewed and discussed ways by which she could develop educational and outreach programs that could be provided in schools, or in rural communities. Much of the food is imported from other countries as well, and little is known of the source or quality of these food supplies for the population. WIFSS has provided her with background information and encouragement to start a program in the country.






Feno, Heather, Jessica and John

Feno stands outside the WIFSS building with Heather Johnson, Jessica Cadriel and John Angelos.



Biosecurity for Dairy Industry

May 6, 2016
Davis, CA

Chris Morley, a veterinarian with DairyNZ, visited WIFSS to discuss strategies on approaching biosecurity for the dairy industry in New Zealand. Morley and Michael Payne, John Angelos, Pam Hullinger and Bennie Osburn discussed the New Zealand program which is supported by a checkoff system addressing agroterrorism and all-hazard issues having the potential to impact the dairy industry. The program not only addresses dairy cattle and the dairy products, but also such things as the introduction of invasive plant species which have the potential of crowding out pastures and forages essential to the feed and food supply. The exchange between DairyNZ and WIFSS compliments the Secure Milk Supply Plan, which WIFSS is involved with through its work with SMS Partners including UC Davis, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, USDA/NPIC, and USDA/CEAH.