eNewsletter, October-December 2018
May 2017 | WCFS & WIFSS Newsletter
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Happy New Year! Please have a look at where we've been with the wrap-up of 2018. We wish everyone the best for 2019! Stop by our websites at either or Thank you for your continued support!

University of California, Davis

73rd Washington State Water Resources Association Annual Meeting | December 6, 2018, Spokane, WA
Ronald F. Bond (pictured above) presented “Variability in Microbial Quality of Agricultural Water Supplies: Implications for FSMA Cooperative Monitoring in Washington State” at the WSWRA Annual Conference at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. This year the conference focused on such issues as workplace safety, water quality and food safety, training for directors and others on Open Public Meeting Act and the Public Records Act and many other highlights. Bond highlighted WCFS research into the data sharing provision of FSMA.
15th International Symposium on Milk Genomics and Human Health | November 13-15, 2018, Sacramento, CA
This three-day event was presented by the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) under the organization of the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), and the local organizing committee. It brought together international experts in nutrition, genomics, bioinformatics and milk research to discuss and share the outcomes and implications of the latest discoveries in scientific research on lactation and milk.
Michele Jay-Russell was an invited panel member in Wednesday afternoon’s session, “Milk microbiomes: Do they matter?” The session began with presentations by Michelle McGuire on “The human milk microbiome” and Mary Kable on “Milk microbiomes in large-scale dairy processing.” The panel discussion, moderated by Danielle Lemay from the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, focused on “Milk as a source of microorganisms: Practical implications.”  Other panelists included Maria Marco (Department of Food Science, University of California, Davis) and Steve Frese (Evolve Biosystem).
Download the full IMGC program here.
Conference on Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health | October 16-17, 2018, Silver Spring, MD
Almost 200 scientists and organization leaders listened to 41 researchers and subject experts during the two-day Conference on Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health organized by the Soil Health Institute.

Michele Jay-Russell was an invited presenter and panelist in a session on “The influence of soil health on food safety.” Other presenters on the panel included Patricia Millner (USDA-ARS), David Ingram (FDA CFSAN), Kali Kniel (University of Delaware), and Keeve Nachman (Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University). After the topic-rich briefings, the participants, who focus on soil health, microbiome research, nutrition, and public health, proposed research collaboration priorities. A future report will describe the findings.
Download the full Conference program here.
FDA CFSAN Centers of Excellence Directors Meeting | October 16, 2018, College Park, MD
The FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s (CFSAN) Centers of Excellence (COE) program is one of several approaches CFSAN uses to collaborate with external partners to fulfill its public health mission.  The COE program consists of formal partnerships with four academic institutions, and provides opportunities to build diversified channels for infusing innovative ideas and knowledge, encourages dialogue among government, academia and industry, and develops novel approaches to solve complex food safety issues.  COEs also partner and collaborate with other domestic and international organizations to conduct food safety research and capacity building.  Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS) at the University of California-Davis is one of four COEs currently supported by FDA. Others include the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi; the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH)/National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT); and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) at the University of Maryland, College Park.
At the annual COE meeting, WCFS leadership presented updates on three key projects:
  • Expanding the scope, understanding and science behind cooperative monitoring of E. coli in irrigation networks (Rob Atwill)
  • Survival of E. coli in walnut and almond orchards after aqueous application (Linda Harris)
  • Using WGS to characterize STEC and Salmonella isolates from raw animal manures in Arizona and California (Michele Jay-Russell)

FDA Public Meeting on Draft Guidance for Industry | November 29, 2018, Anaheim, CA
Linda Harris represented WCFS at the FDA Public Meeting on the Draft Guidance for Industry: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.  She was a member of a panel led by Jim Gorny, along with a representative from industry, CDFA, and FDA Produce Safety Network.  For more information about the draft guidance, see the article below under ANNOUNCEMENTS.
All Hazards Planning and Preparedness  | November 12-13, 2018, Griffin, GA
WIFSS instructors Art Johnstone and Michael Turner presented two FEMA-certified training courses on disaster preparedness in Griffin, GA on November 12 and 13. The two courses delivered were AWR 328: All-Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters, and MGT 448: All-Hazards Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disasters. The courses were held at the Griffin Fire and Rescue headquarters and were hosted by Griffin Fire Chief, Tommy Jones. These deliveries were particularly good due to the diversity of the audience in attendance. Represented in the audience were the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Griffin Fire Department, Spalding County Fire Department, Sylvester Fire Department, Fayette County Fire Department, Henry County Animal Control, Department of Defense, local law enforcement agencies, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. With representation from local to federal levels, the discussions about planning, preparing, responding, and recovering from a disaster that impacts the agricultural sector of the represented communities was rich and will lead to a stronger network of resources that will be useful in future emergency situations. Upon completion of the 12 hours AWR 328 course, and the 8-hour MGT 448 course, all participants will receive two course certificates from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The two instructors for this course have many years of experience working both in the field and in the classroom. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of agriculture and emergency management to the training classroom that greatly enriches the learning experience of the participants who attend.

The next delivery of these training courses is scheduled to take place in Pennsylvania at the end of February. For more details on this training opportunity, and to register for the classes, please visit our website:
Instructor Mike Turner leads instruction in Georgia class
All Hazards Planning and Preparedness  | November 7-8, 2018, Orange City, IA
Tracey Stevens and Mike Payne, were instructors at the AWR 328 and MGT 448 Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, RDPC, training courses held in Orange City, Iowa, November 7-8.  A regional gathering of 28 emergency management personnel, from 16 north eastern Iowa counties made up the classes. The Orange City fire department and sheriff’s offices hosted 2-day event.

Iowa has had previous years of significant devastation from the largest avian influenza outbreaks in the state’s history. Much of the training and discussions centered on lessons learned, future strategic planning and re-developing and expanding mutual aid partnerships. Blue Bunny Ice Cream representatives brought forth the impacts that the avian influenza outbreak had on the ice cream industry and production. Discussions and planning for further industry cross training were only a few of the final outcomes.
The various levels of local, state and federal representatives participated and identified current gaps in training and communications amongst the disciplines. Other participants included fire, law enforcement, animal control, veterinarians, public health and most importantly industry.

Haris Keremidis, a project manager with the Swedish Board of Agriculture on an extended visit at WIFSS, attended the courses in Iowa.  During a team discussion Haris discussed the importance of developing models of training for first responders and rural communities to prepare for potential agroterrorism attacks.
Mike Payne, back row wearing dark jacket, and Tracey Stevens, standing center front row, pose with first responder training class in Orange City fire station.

Vegetable Production Outreach & Food Safety Workshop (Deep South Outreach) | November 2-3, 2018, Thomaston, AL and Okolona, MS
Ronald F. Bond, WCFS researcher, is working on getting the word out about the FSMA agricultural water quality regulations and simplifying water sampling. Bond presented “Agricultural Water Requirements under FSMA: Managing Farm Water Quality” which covered current requirements under FSMA and gives practical advice on best practices for water sampling. These workshops were conducted in both Alabama and Mississippi, the first was conducted at the Alabama Rural Heritage Center in Thomaston, AL and was sponsored by the Local Food Safety Collaborative, Auburn University Extension-Kirstin Woods, and the Deep South Food Alliance. In Mississippi, Bond again gave an Agricultural Water presentation as well as a general overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act, it was held at “The Market” in Okolona, MS and sponsored by the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance and the Deep South Food Alliance.
Ronald Bond gives an overview of regulatory microbial water quality on the farm. photo: Miya Williams
Darrell McGuire (DSFA-LFSC) conducts an on-farm visit in near Thomaston, AL

California Certified Organic Growers Food Safety Webinar Series | October 10, 2018
The California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation (CCOF) brought WCFS water quality researcher Ronald F. Bond on to conduct an hour and half webinar on “Agricultural Production Water Requirements” which highlighted practical guidelines on how to get ready for the agricultural production water requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.  Listeners learned regulatory microbiology basics to help better understand the water requirements in the Produce Safety Rule. Then, got up to speed on FSMA agricultural water compliance deadlines, as well as what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing to reassess the agricultural water requirements. The second half of the webinar focused on practical techniques for how to take water samples for agricultural water testing, as well as guidelines on how to inspect sources of irrigation water with food safety in mind. This webinar was geared towards farms that must fully comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The course was approved for Certified Crop Advisor, Continuing Education Units (1.5) in Soil and Water Management.


Visiting Scholar

Former WIFSS-WCFS graduate student Saharuetai Jeamsripong and now lecturer at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand is spending the month of November in Davis as part of a grant she received from the Thailand government and Chulalongkorn University in order to work with Robert Atwill and Xunde Li. During her stay with the Atwill Lab, she will write a manuscript on antimicrobial resistance genes in dairy farms and will observe standard laboratory protocols and data creation and management for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Retail Meat Surveillance Program. In addition, she will also participate in the upcoming NARMS seafood pilot study. 

Xunde Li was given an additional $15,000 award through the NARMS Retail Meat Project, to participate in the NARMS seafood pilot study of antimicrobial resistance in seafood. FDA's goal for the seafood pilot study is to understand the prevalence of AMR bacteria in retail seafood (shrimp and salmon) imported and domestic.  Data will be used by FDA to assess which organisms are appropriate for full-scale surveillance of retail seafood, and their capacity to harbor AMR genes.  Data will also provide a reference point for resistance phenotypes/genotypes that are being imported into the U.S. through seafood. FDA will also test bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs and identify resistance genes using whole genome sequencing. Information of samples such as imported vs. domestic produced, wild caught vs. farm raised will be collected


Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Courses

Bennie Osburn is PI of the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Region I & II grant funded by CDFA, through a grant from the FDA, to train fruit and vegetable growers and others interesting in learning about produce safety.  WIFSS is offering instruction in English and Spanish in classes taking place throughout northern and central California. David Goldenberg is the Program Coordinator and will teach the first of 20 classes on December 18 in the WIFSS conference room. Check the WIFSS Training page to view dates and locations of future courses.

The course provides a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them
The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in seven modules, including but not limited to Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training; Soil Amendments; Agricultural Water; and How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Davis, CA | Register by Month Day, Year

Cost: $30
Location: 1477 Drew Ave, Suite 101, Davis, 95618
Host: Western Institute for Food Safety & Security
Contact: David Goldenberg, (530) 757-5700
Training Language: English


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Santa Clara, CA | Register by Month Day, Year

Cost: $30
Location: 80 W. Highland Avenue, Building K, San Martin, CA 95046
Host: Western Institute for Food Safety & Security & University of California Cooperative Extension, Santa Clara County
Contact: David Goldenberg, (530) 757-5700
Training Language: English

Sign-in is at 7:30am. Course hours are from 8am until 5pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Funding for this course is underwritten by the California Department of Food & Agriculture.


FDA Releases Draft Guidance for Industry

FDA released its “Draft Guidance for Industry: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.” “The purpose of this draft compliance and implementation guidance document is to help covered farms comply with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule, which establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce.  Entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption,” the rule is part of FDA’s implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The draft guidance provides a broad range of recommendations on how to meet the requirements for most subparts of the rule. It also outlines how to determine whether produce or farms may be eligible for exemptions from certain requirements, or from the rule in its entirety.”

Listening sessions were held late November and continued through mid-December at various locations across the country. They included Portland (Nov. 27), Anaheim (Nov. 29), Albany, NY (Dec. 11), and Atlanta, GA (Dec. 13).
The public comments on this draft guidance are due 180 days after the publication date of October 2018.

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WCFS/WIFSS · 1477 Drew Ave, Ste 101 · Davis, CA 95618 · USA

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