Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Factors that influence spinach contamination pre-harvest determined

Date:
June 20, 2013
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Scientists have identified a variety of factors that influence the likelihood of E. coli contamination of spinach on farms prior to harvest.

A team of researchers from Texas and Colorado has identified a variety of factors that influence the likelihood of E. coli contamination of spinach on farms prior to harvest.
Credit: DLeonis / Fotolia

A team of researchers from Texas and Colorado has identified a variety of factors that influence the likelihood of E. coli contamination of spinach on farms prior to harvest. Their research is published in the July 2013 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Related Articles


"Microbial contamination of produce seems strongly influenced by the time since the last irrigation, the workers' personal hygiene and the field's use prior to planting of produce," says first author Sangshin Park of Texas A&M University, College Station. "These factors, together with the role of weather in produce contamination should be the targets of future research efforts to design cost-effective strategies for control of produce contamination."

E. coli contamination of spinach on farms in Colorado and Texas was 172 times more likely if the produce field was within 10 miles of a poultry farm, and 64 times more likely if irrigated by pond water, says Park.

As E. coli is commonly used as an indicator of fecal contamination with food-borne pathogens, the practice of hygiene -- availability of portable toilets and hand-washing stations for workers in the fields -- and the absence of grazing or hay production on the fields prior to planting spinach, reduced the risk seven-fold.

Other potential risk factors tested in the study included numbers of workers, farm size, organic vs. conventional production, the use of chemical fertilizers, compost, and manure, says Park. The researchers assayed 955 spinach samples from 12 farms in the two states, finding that generic E. coli was present on 63 of them (6.6 percent).

Of particular note, the researchers tested their statistical model for spinach contamination to determine how accurately it was able to pinpoint the level of contamination. "The assessment of the predictive performance of a developed statistical model is largely omitted from food safety studies," says Park. Their methodology may serve as a useful template for future investigations of contamination on farms, he says.

"Because produce is commonly consumed raw, it would be best to prevent pre-harvest contamination by food-borne pathogens all together or at least to reduce it," says Park.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Park, S. Navratil, A. Gregory, A. Bauer, I. Srinath, M. Jun, B. Szonyi, K. Nightingale, J. Anciso, R. Ivanek. Generic Escherichia coli Contamination of Spinach at the Preharvest Stage: Effects of Farm Management and Environmental Factors. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2013; 79 (14): 4347 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00474-13

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Factors that influence spinach contamination pre-harvest determined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620162842.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2013, June 20). Factors that influence spinach contamination pre-harvest determined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620162842.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Factors that influence spinach contamination pre-harvest determined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620162842.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins