Sejin Cheong, a second-year PhD student in our lab, presented her project poster “Presence and Persistence of generic E.coli, STEC, and Listeria monocytogenes in Organic Crop Livestock Spinach Field in California and Minnesota” at the IAFP conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 31 – August 3. The poster summarized the first-year results of food borne pathogens and generic E.coli detected in the soil, feces, and spinach in organic crop-livestock integration farming (ICLF) systems where small ruminants graze cover-crops before replanting produce to sell in California (CA) and Minnesota (MN).
No foodborne pathogens (E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC, L. monocytogenes) in soil and spinach were observed both in CA and MN throughout the experiment period, even though a few non-O157 STEC were detected in post-graze fecal samples in CA and MN. Mean generic E.coli were highest at day 30 post grazing only in the grazed area, but those in winter cover crop tilled without grazing and fallow areas remained constantly low. Data from this study indicate that ICLF shows minimal risk of transferring food borne pathogens to produce after 120-days post-grazing, showing no difference from non-grazed area.