WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, January 2017




NAU-UC Davis Graduate Education Conference for One Health 

January 23 - February 23, 2017
Davis, CA

NAU Conference

The 2017 NAU-UC Davis Graduate Education Conference for One Health is underway at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. During the three week conference, sponsored by WIFSS, undergraduate students from NAU will learn about graduate education opportunities, engage in learning experiences involving plant and animal sciences, food safety and One Health, and visit a California dairy, the Veterinary Medical and Teaching Center in Tulare, and have a hands-on experience in water sampling techniques. Joining the undergraduate students, on January 23 and 24, were 19 NAU graduate students. The combined group had the opportunity to spend one day attending informative lectures and touring greenhouse facilities, sponsored by Plant and Environmental Sciences. 




2017 AAFCO Midyear Meeting 

January 15-18, 2017
Mobile, AL

Amanda Arens, Bennie Osburn, Michael Payne, and Heather Johnson from WIFSS attended the Association of American Feed Control Officials midyear meeting in Mobile, Alabama, in mid-January. Arens led the team in presenting the new on-line “Animal Classification” course recently completed by the curriculum development department at WIFSS. The presentation was made during the education and training committee meeting. This course was developed as part of an FDA funded project and is available immediately, at no cost, to states or others who would like to use it. While at the AAFCO meeting, Arens, Osburn, Payne and Johnson also participated in discussions on the further development of training materials that would help states meet the new training standards set forth by FDA. 







FSMA Microbial Water Quality Workshops

Melissa and Jennifer

The Atwill Laboratory staff at WCFS would like to announce that they are planning another round of workshops discussing water sampling and environmental assessments in collaboration with our partners in Washington. These workshops will include:

Aseptic Water Sampling
Environmental Assessments
Water Quality Profiles
Testing Methodologies
and more…

They are beginning to meet with cooperative extension agents across the US in order to build agricultural community support for additional workshops like those offered in Washington.

Are you a grower group, irrigation district or agricultural stakeholder interested in learning more about water sampling and FSMA compliance?  Please contact: Ronald F. Bond or Melissa L. Partyka at-atwilllab@gmail.com, for more information or to request a workshop near you!.















2017 FSMA Cooperative Sampling Project


Staff members in the Atwill Laboratory at WCFS have been gearing up for the 2017 irrigation season by meeting with irrigation districts, growers and producers, and academic collaborators. To date, they have three irrigation districts in California and three in Washington State. They are currently in the next phase of the projects, which is to get grower participation from each district in order to fulfill a top-down cooperative sampling approach to their research. Data sharing is a potentially important part of FSMA and our 2017 research should help growers start that process.

They are always on the lookout for additional collaborators at either the district or the grower level; please email them at atwilllab@gmail.com if you are interested in participating in their research.














Salmonella in free-ranging marine reptiles a potential public health risk

Researchers and Sea Turtles

Researchers studying the nesting and foraging populations of sea turtles in the Caribbean have found different Salmonella serovars in free-ranging wildlife.  Information conducted on sea turtles provides a better understanding of the epizootiology of Salmonella in free-ranging marine reptiles and potential public health risks associated with human interactions with these animals in the Caribbean. 

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Western Center for Food Safety researchers Esteban Soto, Michele Jay-Russell and Elizabeth Antaki joined scientists from Ross University, Louisiana State University, and Mississippi State University, published their work in Zoonoses and Public Health. This work was supported by the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health.

Photo by Leonardo King 2015 shows SKSTMN-In-Water team working up juveniles. 

















A.-K. Ives, E. Antaki, K. Stewart, S. Francis, M. T. Jay-Russell, F. Sithole, M. T. Kearney, M. J. Griffin, E. Soto.  2016. Detection of Salmonella enterica Serovar Montevideo and Newport in Free-ranging Sea Turtles and Beach Sand in the Caribbean and Persistence in Sand and Seawater Microcosms. Zoonoses and Public Health DOI: 10.1111/zph.12324

From the summary: “The main objective of this project was to estimate the prevalence of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica in the nesting and foraging populations of sea turtles on St. Kitts and in sand from known nesting beaches. Results suggest a higher prevalence of Salmonella in nesting leatherback sea turtles compared with foraging green and hawksbill sea turtles….  To determine the persistence of representative strains of each serotype/genotype in these environments, laboratory-controlled microcosm studies were performed in water and sand (dry and wet) incubated at 25 or 35°C. Isolates persisted for at least 32 days in most microcosms, although there were significant decreases in culturable bacteria in several microcosms, with the greatest reduction in dry sand incubated at 35°C. “ The complete summary is available here.