WCFS - Western Center for Food Safety

eNewsletter, December 2016

Happy Holidays 2016





Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease 

December 4, 2016
Chicago, IL

Alda Pires

Alda Pires presented a poster at the 97th Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease  (CRWAD), co-authored by Michele Jay-Russell, entitled “The use of biological soil amendments of animal origin in organic agriculture and food safety risks.”  The objective of the study is to assess current practices used by the organic industry related to manure and compost use to identify potential food safety risks related to microbial contamination and potential threats to the public health. A nationwide survey was conducted, focused on the use of animal-based soil amendments (BSAs) and food safety risks in organic farms. Findings from the survey will provide a framework for microbial risk mitigation strategies for raw manure used in organic and sustainable agriculture. You can see the poster here.

This work was supported by a planning grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). 




WSTFA Annual Meeting and Horticultural Expo 

December 5-7, 2016
Wenatchee, WA

Melissa Partyka and Ronald Bond attended the Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting and Horticultural Expo held in Wenatchee, Washington, December 5-7. Melissa was invited to give a talk on the first steps growers must take to begin water sampling entitled “Agricultural Water Testing Under FSMA: Where to start” as part of the food safety session proctored by Ines Hanrahan of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Melissa also participated in two panel discussions; the first, which focused on issues of water sampling compliance, included Justin Harter, Manager of the Naches Selah Irrigation District, Trent Fuller, HR Director for Legacy Fruit Packers LLC, and Marc Verhougstreate, Asst. Prof at University of Arizona. The second panel, entitled “The Year Ahead: More Fun to Come”, allowed Melissa to talk about some of the research being conducted by WIFSS and the Western Center currently, and research that is being proposed for the coming years. That panel also included Northwest Horticultural Council Vice President Kate Woods, Jacqui Gordon, the Director of Education at WSTFA, Claudia Coles from the WSDA Food Safety and Consumer Services division. The session was well attended with a mix of growers, packers, regulators, researchers, and irrigators. 


Melissa Partyka Presenting
Melissa Partyka Speaking



UK Science and Innovation Network 

December 7, 2016

UK Science and Innovation Network

Michele Jay-Russell and Bennie Osburn met with Stefania Di Mauro-Nava, Science & Innovation Officer with UK Science and Innovation Network, based at the British Consulate General, San Francisco, and Dora Meredith, Europe and Global Portfolio Manager at Innovate UK, to discuss work on food safety, food security and resource sustainability, and explore potential opportunities for collaboration.

Innovate UK is the United Kingdom’s national innovation funding agency, and currently sponsors programs like the UK’s Agritech Catalyst. During the December 7 meeting Jay-Russell shared innovative research projects currently underway at WCFS. Osburn outlined research and training initiatives at WIFSS that are raising awareness and educating food producers and processors, regulators, and consumers about food safety and food security.  






Liaoning Province

November 28, 2016

Chinese government regulators visited WIFSS to get an update on U.S.regulations for produce food safety and antibiotic use in livestock. The delegates from Liaoning Province are involved in food inspection, testing and quality control and were interested in learning about the mission of the WIFSS and the University of California, Davis to provide healthy food for the people of the United States and the world.

Their chaperones included Maynard Skinner, former Assistant Vice Chancellor and former Mayor of Davis, and Bill Ritter, Program Coordinator for Maynard Skinner and Associates. 






Liaoning Delegation







New WIFSS Management Course for Food and Animal Related Disasters

November 29, 2016

WIFSS Management Course Group

Amanda Arens, Program Manager for Outreach and Training at WIFSS, and Holly Powers, Solano County Emergency Services Assistant Manager, were instructors of a pilot course for MGT 448 All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disasters Management.  Students attending the course held in late November included representatives from California Office of Emergency Services, California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps, livestock industry, and WIFSS team members Heather Johnson, Mike Payne, David Goldenberg, Jessica Cadriel and Bennie Osburn.

The management level course which provides the background information needed to lead a multi-agency team of emergency planners for food and/or animal related disasters will be available for delivery in 2017.














President, Jiangsu Agro-animal Husbandry Vocational College

November 30, 2016
UC Davis

Jiangsu Delegation


President Zhendong He, Jiangsu Agro-animal Husbandry Vocational College, and fellow administrators, Yushu Huang, Aiguo Jin, Fuguo Wang, Haiyan Dong, and Qin Wang, visited UC Davis to further develop training programs for their faculty and students in the area of food safety.  In addition to food safety, they have interests in livestock production, agronomy and post-harvest technology. Following meetings on campus, the group toured the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.















Swedish Defense University and Swedish Board of Agriculture

December 12-15, 2016
UC Davis 

Swedish Delegation

Representatives from the Swedish Defense University, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, and the Security Department at the National Veterinary Institute, met with WIFSS personnel in December to discuss training programs for food defense and agroterrorism.  Bennie Osburn, David Goldenberg, Heather Johnson and Michael Payne shared their expertise with the Swedish delegation about programs developed at WIFSS for training first responders about potential effects of an agricultural emergency and the important structure for organizing the recovery from an incident of agroterrorism or food systems disaster. They also discussed unique issues to be considered and addressed when animals are involved in an emergency, such as safe animal handling, animal evacuation, and animal sheltering. WIFSS and the Swedish delegation look forward to future collaboration.















Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)

December 13, 2016

CAAS Delegation

Researchers and directors from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) were members of a training delegation to USA on development and management of world class agricultural research centers.  Bennie Osburn, Director for Outreach and Training at WIFSS, talked with the delegation about potential ways collaborative research and training programs could be used to train graduate students at their university.
















Good Fruit Grower Spanish Language Website

Ronnie Bond Sampling Water

Ronald Bond, Melissa Partyka and Jennifer Chase were featured in the Good Fruit Grower Magazine Spanish language website-Good Fruit Grower in  Español. It highlighted an article entitled “Muestreo de agua en pasos simples”. Editors for the Good Fruit Grower Magazine chose to translate articles that would serve to inform Spanish speaks on “in-depth articles and current research trends in horticulture.” This article, featuring WCFS staff, helps to clarify water sampling for FSMA compliance, the article was written by Shannon Dininny and is accompanied by photos from TJ Mullinax and were based on interviews held during the agricultural water quality workshops conducted in May through Central Washington State. 














In the Media (YouTube)

Melissa Partyka Youtube

Good Fruit Grower Magazine produce a video of Melissa Partyka- “Growers need to develop water safety management plan - 2016 Hort Show” in which she discusses upcoming water quality standards and the aspects of developing water quality profiles and environmental assessments under FSMA. The video was produce by TJ Mullinax of Good Fruit Grower Magazine. 














Better Process Control School

February 14-17, 2017
Davis, CA 

The Better Process Control School (BPCS) was established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for operating supervisors of commercial food canning operations. The UC Davis BPCS is offered in conjunction with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and is available both “In-Person” from Feb. 14-17, 2017, and OnlineLinda Harris will present “Microbiology of thermally processed foods,” “Food container Handling”, “Records for product protection” and “Food plant sanitation” at the In-Person BPCS on days 1 and 2. Erin DiCaprio , UC Davis Food Science & Technology, will present “Acidified foods” on Day 1. The agenda for the full 4-day course may be found here.

















Kilonzo, C., X. Li, T. Vodoz, C. Xiao, J. A. Chase, M. T. Jay-Russell, E. J. Vivas, and E. R. Atwill. 2017. Quantitative shedding of multiple genotypes of Cryptosporidium and Giardia by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) in a major agricultural region in the California Central Coast. J. Food Protect. Accepted for publication. 

Abstract: Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are abundant and widely distributed rodent species in North America that occupy diverse habitats including agricultural landscapes. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are common parasites in wildlife, including deer mice, which may play a role in on-farm contamination of produce. An important step in assessing the risk of produce contamination by Cryptosporidium and Giardia shed by deer mice is to determine the prevalence, concentration and genotypes of (oo)cysts in their feces. A total of 63 (30.3 %) and 53 (25.5 %) of 208 deer mice trapped in 12 farms in California Central Coast were positive for Cryptosporidium and Giardia, respectively. Of these mice, 41 (19.7%) contained both parasites. The odds of Cryptosporidium shedding were 2.5 to 5 times higher in mice trapped in autumn months than those in summer or spring. Female mice had a higher prevalence and a two to three-fold higher intensity of shedding of Cryptosporidium and Giardia compared to males. Female adults and female juveniles had the highest rates of environmental loading of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, respectively. We estimate that 20 infected deer mice inhabiting a hectare of typical leafy green produce farm in the study region can load each day approximately 5.3×108 Cryptosporidium and 10.5×108 Giardia, respectively, into the environment. The small-subunit rRNA gene loci from a subset of protozoan isolates were sequenced and compared to existing sequences in the GenBank. Multiple genotypes of Cryptosporidium and Giardia were found and BLAST analyses results suggest that Giardia and the majority of Cryptosporidium genotypes in deer mice circulate within populations of rodent species but a portion of Cryptosporidium isolates possess zoonotic potential.