eNewsletter, May-June 2020
May 2017 | WCFS & WIFSS Newsletter
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We've been hard at work these past few months making food safer and more secure. Please have a look at where we've been. We hope you find it informative. Stop by our websites at either or Thank you for your continued support!

University of California, Davis


Online Conference Landing Page | June 2020

The WIFSS conference landing page went live in June.  On it you will find a brochure announcing the online conference for One Health for Food Systems Conference: Integrating Veterinary, Food, Animal, Agriculture, and Engineering Sciences, July 20-31, CLICK HERE:

This 2-week conference is the online version of the 3-week Summer One Health conference WIFSS has conducted each summer since 2016.  UC Davis-WIFSS One Health Conferences provide an in-depth educational experience for undergraduate students around the globe to learn about the importance of applying a One Health approach to solving specific, complex problems that arise at the interface of people, animals, and the environment. Our One Health for food systems conferences motivate talented international students to address important societal problems in veterinary, food systems, animal, agriculture, and engineering sciences. By using innovative, interactive, and student-centered learning experiences students learn the value of taking an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex real-world problems through problem-based learning activities which develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. This One Health approach to solving problems is critical in promoting progress towards safer, better quality food systems and healthy animals and people around the world.


PSA Grower Training Online Course | May 14 & 28, 2020

On May 14 and May 28 WIFSS held online training courses on the foundations of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop an effective on-farm food safety plan. The PSA training courses were led by instructors David Goldenberg of WIFSS, Michele Jay-Russell of WCFS, Donna Clements of PSA, and Angel Garibaldo. The students came from various parts of California, as well as other states, representing a wide variety of small and large growers ranging from Avocados to Walnuts. This entirely online training course was moderated by the WIFSS educational design team. The one-day courses featured topics such as postharvest handling and sanitation, soil amendments, and worker health, hygiene, and training. It is intended to help growers of all backgrounds meet FSMA Produce Safety Rule Requirements. A third remote delivery is scheduled for July 16, 2020. Sign up today!

Visit for updates on upcoming training opportunities!

2020 Lunch Time Challenge | April-June 2020

Six teams competed in the 2020 Lunch Time Challenge.  The LTC included 40 undergraduate students from Nanjing Agricultural University, (NAU), representing teams: Vitamin C, E-Cycle, PITO, PALM, IBF, and Geronimo.
Twenty students were members of the NAU One Health Club. Final team reports were presented to representatives from UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and a guest faculty member from UC Davis Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, during a Zoom call on June 13. Team PITO took first place in the competition for their report on, “Through the One Health concept, how could humans be in harmony with marine parasites?” This report looked at the nearly 300-fold increase of Anasakis parasites in the past few decades and the link to climate change, changes in Marine species richness, and increased human activity.
The peak of the nearly 9-week competition was the achievement by the six teams to reach more than 3,000 people through fliers, videos, workshops and seminars conducted through WeChat, QQ, and Tencent.  The ingenuity and hard work of the teams to disseminate information during a world-wide pandemic about their projects on subjects such as rain forests “as the earth's lungs, as the earth's largest reservoir of carbon, its destruction will lead to the damage which is unthinkable,”  or the “perspective of One Health to explore the truth behind the outbreak of Anisakis: a wake-up call for marine ecology, human health, and climate change,” highlights the collaborative, interdisciplinary approach of One Health to address complex problems.
A special guest presentation was delivered during the Zoom call by Team iGEM who will be representing NAU in the 2020 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.  The competition gives students an opportunity to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. The iGEM competition attracts famous universities all over the world every year, such as MIT, Harvard University and University of Cambridge. Nanjing Agricultural University teams participating in this competition during the last 5 years have won 5 gold medals. Team iGEM did not compete in the LTC.

FREE Desert Southwest Soil Health Webinar | July 23, 2020 | 8 am-6 pm PDT

Join us for this three-part online webinar lecture series sponsored by  University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Department  discussing methods used to assess and improve the health of your home and production soil.  This public lecture series, featuring speakers from industry, government, and the university system, will cover the following soil health topics:

Soil organic matter – interpreting soil test results – structure & function of plant roots – Mycorrhizae 101 – compost & cover crops – microalgae – biochar – FDA soil health perspectives – conservation tillage – organic production – pesticide effects – soil borne pathogens – ag engineering pest control.  

Michele Jay-Russell will be a speaker on Organic Production Soil Health Considerations in the southwest desert during Module 2 in the afternoon, as well as David Ingram presenting FDA Perspectives on Soil Health.

PCA, CCA, and Pest Control continuing education credits requested for AZ, CA, NM, and NV. More details to come on the CEU process. Zoom webinar link will be posted soon. 

Registration and agenda here:


Raising Awareness of Dangers of Raw Milk

by Chris Brunner, July 1, 2020

A study recently published in the journal Microbiome reports on reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes in retail raw milk. Michele Jay-Russell is co-author of the study that found raw or unpasteurized cows’ milk from U.S. retail stores can hold a huge number of antimicrobial-resistant genes if left at room temperature.  Jay-Russell is Interim Director of the UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and Program Manager of the UC Davis Western Center for Food Safety. Solving the mysteries of food safety risks has been a driving force in her career. As a food safety veterinarian she is recognized for her work on studies about the risk from wild animals in food-borne pathogen contamination of plants, and you may have caught her in the NPR edition of The Salt, What’s on Your Plate, when they asked the question, Why Slather This Spinach Field In Poop? It's All For Science
As a microbiologist, Jay-Russell has long had a passion for raising people’s awareness of hot topics that surround raw milk, such as safety, homeopathic advantages, and the laws and regulations that govern the sale of raw milk. She is co-author of the website: Real Raw Milk Facts. She says the website is designed to present straight forward, evidenced-based facts and studies so that consumers can make informed choices, especially when it comes to their children. You can also find RawMilkFacts on Twitter at @RawMilkFacts. Watch for the website’s new look being launched by WIFSS and collaborators.

The recent study, Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes in retail raw milk, was led by Jinxin Liu and David Mills from the Mills Lab in Food Science and Technology (FST), with other co-authors including Yuanting Zhu also from FST, and Danielle Lemay from the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center. The study concludes that there is the potential for a high level of antibiotic-resistant bacteria with any temperature abuse in raw milk. Moreover, the bacteria can grow, and the raw milk is not just going to spoil, it’s a really high risk if not handled correctly. 
This video byte provides an overview of the study.
Read full review of the story in the UC Davis Food & Agriculture Raw Milk May Do More Harm Than Good, by Amy Quinton to learn more about the study and its authors. 
Liu, J., Y. Zhu, M. Jay-Russell, D.G. LeMay, and D.A. Mills. 2020. Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes in retail raw milk. Microbiome 8, 99.

Theofel, C. T., T. R. Williams, E. Gutierrez, G. R. Davidson, M. Jay-Russell, L. J. Harris. 2020. Microorganisms move a short distance into an almond orchard from an adjacent upwind poultry operation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Accepted and in press. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00573-20.
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