The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a multi-year study to improve food safety by addressing knowledge gaps in order to advance prevention.
The FDA—in partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California, Davis, Western Center for Food Safety and agricultural stakeholders in the Central Coast of California—is launching the study in response to a series of E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in recent years linked to California’s lettuce production regions.
The longitudinal study is meant to examine the ecology of human pathogens in the environment that may cause foodborne illness outbreaks. More specifically, it focuses on how pathogens survive and move through the environment and possibly contaminate produce. Researchers are collecting diverse samples including adjacent land, water, soil, compost, dust and animal fecal samples. This effort is meant to inform prevention practices and enhance the safety of leafy greens grown in California.
For more information on the study, click here to read FDA’s official announcement.