Food & Health – Simply Put
- Personal choices make personal impacts – Some of the largest impacts on your health are the choices you make about the food you eat, the water you drink and your home community.
- Sewage sludge where food is grown has never been proven to be safe – No federal, state or government agency has ever conducted conclusive scientific studies that prove pouring known toxic sewage sludge wastes on our food, water and communities is safe, instead sighting “estimated risk” as sufficient in protections.
- Sludge + water = contaminated foods – Over 8 million tons of Class B sewage sludge is spread on the land that grows our food, including fields where our meat and milk animals graze. Class A sewage sludge is spread without registration requirements to farms, fields, home gardens and playgrounds. Liquid sewage wastes can be used to irrigate food crops and other landscapes.
- Foods absorb contamination from soil and water – With the exception of salmonella and E. coli, the EPA does not require testing for any pathogens, pharmaceuticals, steroids, viruses, hormones or endotoxins found in sewage sludge wastes. Regrowth of pathogens and bacteria found in sewage sludge solid and liquid wastes are known factors in environmental contamination and antibiotic resistance.
- Don’t depend on the government to protect your health – Although the EPA recognizes that foods absorb heavy metals, chemicals and pathogens, no regulations monitor the safety of foods grown in or irrigated with sewage sludge wastes. Sewage sludge waste commonly contains high levels of contaminants that do not require testing or regulation but accumulate in the soil.
- Government allows many risks to our health one bite at a time – Some cancer causing toxins found in sewage sludge include plutonium, radiation, Teflon type chemicals like PFO’s and PFOA’s and antibacterial soap byproducts. Flame retardants are found in every sample of sewage sludge in national tests. All have been found to follow the roots of the plant into the food we eat.
- International science is raising concerns about land applied sewage sludge – World-wide, scientific studies are linking environmental contamination with; food poisoning, infections of salmonella and E. coli, increases in autism, antibiotic and mutli-drug-resistant superbugs, MRSA, drug resistant pneumonia, cancers and groundwater contaminations.
- Bureaucracies refuse to “connect the dots” – charged with protecting our health, food and water the FDA, EPA, USDA and CDC ignore the facts that the application of hazardous sewage sludge wastes as a contaminating factors in our food supply and health.
- Contact your food growers, elected officials and bureaucracies – push the EPA, the USDA, the CDC to tell the truth: sewage sludge distribution is poisoning America food supply.
- Demand safe food – demand the halt of land application of sewage sludge.
FOOD, HEALTH & SEWAGE SLUDGE: LEGALIZING THE POISONING OF OUR FOOD SUPPLY
The lack of guidance about the use of sewage sludge where our food is grown is stunning. Our knowledge about the issue has dramatically increased since the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when the practice of using farmland as an inexpensive waste dump for municipal sewage became a national policy. Often proponents of sewage sludge ‘fertilizer’ site the historical use of human ‘manure’ as proof of safety, conveniently disregarding the increased use and disposal of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, viruses, pathogens, hormones and other toxic waste from our modern lifestyle. The danger of sewage sludge is not a curious scientific or medical mystery, but is a known and foreseeable health and safety issue.
How safe is the sewage sludge legally spread on our food and water supply? With the EPA regulation requiring testing for only nine elements – mercury, arsenic, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc – and reduction of only salmonella or E. coli, the list of know toxins in sludge that do not require testing and are found on a regular basis are vast. These include plutonium found in Boulder, Colorado; radiation found in sludge from Royersford, Pennsylvania: Teflon type chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acids, or PFO’s and PFOA’s in agricultural soils where cattle graze in Decatur, Alabama: salmonella in groundwater from run-off in Athens, Georgia; hermaphrodite frogs and fish found downstream from wastewater treatment plants; flame retardants and the disinfectant triclosan found in every sewage sludge sample tested by the EPA in their 2007 national survey. Although the affects of these toxins on soil organisms, plants and grazing livestock, animals, water and humans is known, the EPA and US government bureaucracies refuse to re-evaluate the practice of land applying sewage sludge.
No food crop, aside from USDA organic, is regulated from growing on land treated with sewage sludge “fertilizer”. Some industry food companies who are not necessarily organic, like Del Monte and Heinz, have taken a cautious route to consumer health and safety and choose not to purchase food grown in sludge. The EPA – responsible for setting the national standard for the safe use of toxic substances like sewage sludge – requires testing by the sludge hauler or municipal waste treatment plant for only nine substances and one bacteria. There are no standard requirements for testing of heavy metal or toxin build-up in the soil that receive sewage sludge. In fact, the standards for the testing and deposit of products delivered to landfills is stricter and more regulated than for products delivered to the location of our food and water supply. One example is that both radiation and cadmium are required to be tested for landfill deposit, but neither are required testing if they are deposited on farmland, parks, playground and fertilizer.
A Spoonful Of Poison Is Still A Spoonful Of Poison
The 1981 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document “Land Application of Municipal Sewage Sludge for the Production of Fruits and Vegetables: A Statement of Federal Policy” fully recognizes the potential dangers. The guidelines are filled with wording “if the guidelines are followed” and “although the cumulative cadmium in land application may be reached”, yet the application of sewage to farmland is based on the nitrogen and phosphorous rates. In fact, the 1981 EPA guidelines find no danger in polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) levels; only encourage “incorporation” in the soil. Studies included noting that human food crops like carrots have levels of PCB’s but, “…. assumes that carrots will receive the normal processing of scrubbing and peeling, since carrots tend to accumulate PCB’s in the skin” (pg 9). No mystery – we know that PCB’s are carcinogenic and are linked to dysfunction in organs including the liver and brain yet the EPA refuses to control the distribution of this toxin on our food supply.
Even this document, signed by the US EPA, US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration, recognizes that heavy metals “translocate” into edible tissue of plants and animals. “However, many sludges also contain substances which could contaminate such crops and make them unfit for human consumption. The contaminants of greatest concern are the heavy metals, toxic organic compounds, and pathogenic microorganisms…” (pg 2). The EPA federal policy recognizes the following edible plants by gauging their metal uptake: “high uptake – lettuce, spinach, chard, escarole, endive, cress, turnip greens, carrots; moderate uptake – kale, collards, beets, turnips, radish, mustard, potatoes, and onion.”
In 1978, Cornell Waste Management Institute applied Syracuse, New York sludge, to on-site test orchards with the goal of tracking the high levels of toxic pollutants, such as PCB’s and dioxin. Retesting the soils as recently as 2001, no noticeable change in the toxicity level of the soil of these known cancer causing pollutants was discovered. Sewage sludge commonly contains high levels of heavy metals that do not require testing or regulation, yet scientific studies prove that heavy metals accumulate not only in the soil where the sludge is spread but also in the plants and animal that we ingest. Because heavy metals and other know toxins accumulate in our bodies from the foods we eat, the water we drink, the products we use and the air we breath, eliminating know sources from our food source and environmental system is not only sensible, but necessary.
Concentrations of cadmium, mercury, lead, silver, and tin are higher in sludge than human and animal manure. Tin and silver, found in most sludge, does not dilute in soil and is highly toxic. Other metals like sulfur, molybdenum, iron and cadmium interfere with the health of grazing animals, resulting in weight loss, lower productivity and reproductive failures. Certainly, healthier animals produce a healthier food supply, reducing the need for medications, antibiotics and hormones. Buildup of some metals, like cadmium, mercury and lead, are known to be cumulative and toxic to animals and humans. Metals such as copper, nickel and zinc are known to be damaging to crops and are “relatively immobile” in soils – they do not wash away, disappear in sunlight and persist for decades. By constantly adding sewage sludge to farmlands, we are inviting the destruction of the very source of our nourishment. In fact, farms throughout America have already begun failing due to toxic levels of metals and chemicals.
Sludge: Poisoning Our Milk and Meat
Nothing highlights the sewage sludge poisoning of our food source like the situation of two Georgia farms, Andy McElmurray and Bill Boyce. In 1979, Andy McElmurray accepted ‘safe’ sludge from the city of Augusta as a free fertilizer option. McElmurray noticed multiple Salmonella outbreaks in his dairy cows after grazing on sludged fields. Then in 1989, a marked decrease in milk production developed in the herd and McElmurray’s cows died slowly, withering with painful “AID’s-like” symptoms.
Boyceland Dairy Farms boasted a state prize-winning herd. Beautiful animals, excellent milk. In 1984, Bill Boyce accepted sewage sludge as a free fertilizer option. About ten years later, milk production suddenly collapsed and cows began sickening and dying at an alarming rate. 300 of Boyce’s prize-winning animals died. So did the family farm he had planned to pass on to his children.
Concerned about the unsettling pattern that both farms were experiencing, McElmurray and Boyce tested their soil, silage animal food and milk. The results were stunning – the sludged land contained toxic levels of compounds like heavy metals, arsenic and PCB’s two to 2,500 times federal health standards. The milk contained levels of thallium – an element formerly used in rat poison – in concentrations 120 times higher than allowed in drinking water. Many of the toxic compounds that collectively killed their land and livestock did not require testing to pass sludge safety standards. Ultimately, lawsuits were filed, but across America farmers continue to be offered this free “fertilizer” option. Litigation on this issue is ongoing, yet sewage sludge safety concerns from farmers and communities are dismissed by policy makers and elected representatives.
Many chemicals that are contained in wastewater become concentrated in sludges. This is particularly true for fat-soluble “persistent organic” chemicals, include PCB’s, dioxins and flame retardants (polybrominated biphenyles or PBB). National EPA required pollutant scans does not include persistent organic chemicals. Because these are “fat-soluble bio-accumulative chemicals”, they gather in fat tissue, meat and milk of livestock during grazing, becoming part of the food chain. Children are at special risk, since dioxin gathers in both animal milk and the breast milk for nursing mother. Many of these chemicals pose known cancer risks as well as developmental risks.
Triclocarban, a substance used in anti-bacterial soap, passes through the waste water treatment system and gathers in sewage sludge. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported in a 2006 study that 75% of triclocarban, a known toxic substance when ingested, passes through the waste water treatment plant and is now traced to contaminating rivers and streams.
“Triclocarban does not break down easily even under the intense measures applied during wastewater treatment,” states senior author Rolf U. Halden, PhD. “The irony is twofold. First, to protect our health, we mass-produce and use a toxic chemical which the Food and Drug Administration has determined has no scientifically proven benefit. Second, when trying to do the right thing by recycling nutrients contained in biosolids, we end up spreading a known reproductive toxicant on the soil where we grow our food.”
Don’t Put That In Your Mouth!
With the exception of salmonella and E. coli, the EPA does not require testing of sewage sludge/biosolids for any pathogens, pharmaceuticals, steroids, viruses, hormones or endotoxins. Deadly pathogens that are found to infect our hospitals, such as MRSA, are discovered in our waterways and on our beaches, yet the EPA refrains from re-evaluating the national testing standards. The chemicals, heating and squeezing at waste water treatment plants do not cure or eliminate our modern hazardous waste.
Sewage sludge contains pathogens and endotoxins (illness causing cell wall material that remain after bacteria die). Pathogens are reduced before sludge application, endotoxins are not studied. Also, bacteria, viruses and parasites are found in sludge but not regulated. Federal rules are based on “risk assessment” and assume that pathogens will be killed through environmental exposure. Yet no studies by any federal, state or independent scientific community confirm this casual approach to spreading know infectious contaminations on our communities, food and water supply.
At one time food poisoning from salmonella and E. coli was associated with consuming contaminated animal products. But recent outbreaks of food poisoning in vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, pistachios, peanut butter, alfalfa sprouts and bagged salad gives cause for re-evaluations. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through foods, causing 6 million to 81 million illnesses and 9,000 deaths in the United States annually. And studies published by the Institute of Science in Society noted a two to ten fold increase in foodborne illness from 1994 to 1999. Feigning ignorance or innocence about the source of these bacterial and pathogen outbreaks, the bureaucracies charged with protecting our health, food and water refuse to “connect the dots” of the legal application of hazardous sewage sludge to our food source. Common sense dispels the mystery that educated minds seem to miss – if you pour your waste on your food, you will get sick.
Scientists know that both salmonella and E. coli can spread to vegetables if fertilized with contaminated manure (including human manure) or water during growing and harvesting. Yet the practice of using the water released back into the community from the waste water treatment plants, called effluence, is popular especially in dry landscapes and under drought conditions. The EPA only requires limiting “indicator bacteria” of salmonella or E. coli. Sewage sludge is considered safe by EPA standards if either salmonella or E. coli is reduced at the source of testing – the wastewater treatment plant. Also, the “indicator bacteria” can pass EPA standards only to re-grow and increase once the sludge/biosolids becomes wet from water or rain. No further bacteria or pathogen testing is required.
Studies from the University of Hygiene, University of Graz, Austria evaluated the resistance patterns of E. coli in wastewater treatment plans. They found the highest resistance rates were found in E. coli strains that received not only municipal waste, but also hospital waste. Although there was a reduction in the value of the E. coli exiting the WWTP as effluence, resistant bacteria were found to be released into the environment, thus contributing to out national struggle with antibiotic resistance of out medication.
Research by the Professor Gadi Frankel and Dr. Rob Shaw, from Imperial College and University of Birmingham, London in 2008 give a definitive link of how the bacteria and plants interact. The findings confirm how bacterias like salmonella and other pathogens cause contamination in the food chain, risking human health and safety. Among other findings, “Scientists know that salmonella and E. coli 0157 – a strain of E. coli that causes sickness in humans – can spread in salads and vegetables if they are fertilized with contaminated manure, irrigated with contaminated water, or if they come into contact with contaminated products during cutting, washing, packing and preparation process.”
Dr. Frankel notes that the number of cases of food poisoning from salads and vegetables are likely to increase as people add more fruits and vegetables to their diets in an effort to eat healthy. “All of these factors, together with the globalization of the food market, mean that cases of salmonella and E. coli poisoning caused by salads are likely to rise in the future.”
Salinas Valley, California has long been called the “Salad Bowl of America.” Much of our fresh, leafy greens come from this valley. Fresh produce is increasingly implicated in food-related illness. E. coli can survive in soil and water, and can be transferred onto plant surfaces through farm practices such as irrigation. Because of groundwater salinity problem and the ongoing west coast drought, some farms in the Salinas Valley use the Monterey Wastewater Treatment Plant waste water to irrigate crops. The effluence from the waste plant is piped up to 20 miles to the irrigation sites that grow our foods.
The development of antibiotic resistance within sewer plants is well known. Dr. Amy Pruden of Colorado State University demonstrated that the genetic fragments, antibiotic resistant genes which are developed within sewer plants, pass to the environment and, in spite of chlorination, are picked up in fresh water intakes, pass through drinking water treatment chlorination and filtration and end in the potable water supply. Bacteria from the waste water treatment plants shows a survival of antibiotic resistant genes that is passes into the environment through the reuse of both the solid and liquid waste.
No mystery here. Industry scientist from the Water Environmental Resource Federation (WERF) teamed up with scientific experts on a US EPA team to study this very issue. Dr. Pruden, along with Dr. Edo McGowan, a medical geo-hydrologist, and Dr. Joan B. Rose of Michigan State University, all served on a US EPA expert team looking at the subject of pathogens in sewage sludge/biosolids. Dr. McGowan states, “We tested some of the recycled water produced in California (waste water treatment plants) under state criteria. This is recycled water that is tertiary treated and chlorinated prior to release. What we found when we ran tests on this finished water was multi-drug resistance, in one case resistance to 11 of the 12 test materials. We noted bacteria that were obviously also resistant to chlorine. We tested water from two separate sewer districts. We attempted to test a third district source that uses the water to spray irrigate strawberries and broccoli. When we stated why we wanted to test this water we were promptly refused and immediately handed off to the district’s legal counsel.”
Who Says ‘No!’
Terms like “natural” and “healthy” don’t protect your food supply – they are soothing and unregulated words intended to “greenwash” the lack of regulations to safeguard your food and family. USDA organic products are restricted from using sewage sludge as a fertilizer, but sludge industry pressures are a constant threat to this bastion of safe sustenance. Some industry food companies who are not necessarily organic, like Del Monte and Heinz, have taken a cautious route to consumer health and safety and choose not to purchase food grown in sludge.
Noting possible environmental hazards, European laws enacted in 2003, lists PBB’s as one of 6 controlled substances under, “Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive.” Other countries have followed suit, including China and South Korea in 2007. Concerns regarding organic chemicals include ecological impacts to soil health and wildlife and entry into the human food chain, particularly through accumulation in dairy products.
In March 2009, the Irish Grain Assurance Scheme voted that they will not support grains grown in sewage sludge. Concern over serious lack of legislative control over the spreading of sewage sludge on agricultural crops prompted the move and officials from the Food Safety Authority, Irish Grain and Feed Association and Department of Agriculture voted to follow suit.
And from environmental organizations, like the Sierra Club and Audubon of Florida, comes a view of the sewage sludge issue that recognizes our role and participation in the food and water cycle.
Who says “No” to sewage sludge? Communities and individuals just like you. Contact food companies and tell them you want a ‘sludge-free guarantee’ – and forward their reply to us! Tell your grocery store manager you are concerned about sewage sludge in our food supply (yes, their business associations know this issue!). Buy organic when possible. If you buy from local farmers, ask if they use sludge or biosolids on their farm. Call your elected officials. Throughout America and the world, people are taking a stand and demanding that our policy makers protect the people, not the policy. Demand safe food – demand the halt of land application of sewage sludge.
Food Recall Link
FoodSafety.gov provides the latest information on all food recalls and alerts as well as food illness outbreaks. You can also get the Food Safety Widget to display food safety alerts and recalls on your Web site.
State-by-State Response to Food Borne Illness Outbreaks Link
Are you protected from outbreaks?
Find your state: Quick reporting of diseases to your local health department can limit the spread of foodborne outbreaks. Click through the foodborne illnesses that CDC recommends be reported and see how your state’s requirements measure up. Hover over each square for more details
Cantaloupe vs. al-Qaeda: What’s More Dangerous?
In 2011, the year of Osama bin Laden’s death, the State Department reported that 17 Americans were killed in all terrorist incidents worldwide. The same year, a single outbreak of listeriosis from tainted cantaloupe killed 33 people in the United States. Foodborne pathogens also sickened 48.7 million, hospitalized 127,839 and caused a total of 3,037 deaths.
By Michael Meurer, Truthout | Op-Ed ; Sunday, 15 September 2013
Toxic Chemicals May Contaminate Oil Field Wastewater Used to Grow Calif. Crops
In the last three years, farmers in parts of California’s Central Valley irrigated nearly 100,000 acres of food crops with billions of gallons of oil field wastewater possibly tainted with toxic chemicals, including chemicals that can cause cancer and reproductive harm, according to an EWG analysis of state data.
Monica Amarelo (202)-939-9140; email@example.com
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Uptake of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Soybean Plants from Soils Applied with Biosolids and Irrigated with Contaminated Water
Many pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are commonly found in biosolids and effluents from wastewater treatment plants. Land application of these biosolids and the reclamation of treated wastewater can transfer those PPCPs into the environments, giving rise to potential accumulation in plants. Data from two different harvests suggest that the uptake from soil to root and translocation from root to leaf may be rate limited for triclosan and triclocarban and metabolism may occur within the plant for carbamazepine.
CHENXI WU,*,† ALISON L. SPONGBERG,† JASON D. WITTER,† MIN FANG,† AND KEVIN P. CZAJKOWSKI; Department of Environmental Sciences, and Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toledo, Ohio 43606; Received April 8, 2010. Revised manuscript received June 25, 2010. Accepted July 12, 2010.
Uptake of perfluoroalkyl acids into edible crops via land applied biosolids: Field and greenhouse studies
The presence of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in biosolids destined for use in agriculture has raised concerns about their potential to enter the terrestrial food chain via bioaccumulation in edible plants. Uptake of PFAAs by greenhouse lettuce ( Lactuca sativa) and tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum ) grown in an industrially impacted biosolids-amended soil, a municipal biosolids-amended soil, and a control soil was measured.
Contact: National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Citation: Blaine, A., C. Rich, L. Hundal, C. Lau, Marc A. Mills, Kimberly M. Harris, AND C. Higgins. Uptake of perfluoroalkyl acids into edible crops via land applied biosolids: Field and greenhouse studies. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Indianapolis, IN, 47(24):14062-9, (2013).
Review of ‘emerging’ organic contaminants in biosolids and assessment of international research priorities for the agricultural use of biosolids
A number of issues were identified and recommendations for the prioritization of further research and monitoring of ’emerging’ OCs for the agricultural use of biosolids are provided. In particular, a number of ‘emerging’ OCs (PFOS, PFOA and PCAs) were identified for priority attention that are environmentally persistent and potentially toxic with unique chemical properties, or are present in large concentrations in sludge, that make it theoretically possible for them to enter human and ecological food-chains from biosolids-amended soil.
Bradley O. Clarke, Stephen R. Smith: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom: Received 3 December 2009 Accepted 9 June 2010
Available online 24 August 2010
The long-term effect of sludge application on Cu, Zn, and Mo behavior in soils and accumulation in soybean seeds.
In agricultural soils, the bioavailability of sludge- added trace metals is of particular concern due to potential hazard to human or livestock health through their diets. Some sludge treatments producing soybean seeds with Mo (Molybdenum) concentrations up to 5 times greater than the control.
Bojeong Kim & Murray B. McBride & Brian K. Richards & Tammo S. Steenhuis
Received: 10 November 2006 / Accepted: 1 August 2007 / Published online: 5 September 2007 # Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007
Manure- and Biosolids-Resident Murine Norovirus 1 Attachment to and Internalization by Romaine Lettuce
This study showed that the presence of murine norovirus 1 (MNV) in biosolids may increase the risk of fresh produce contamination and that the MNV in open cuts and stomata is likely to be protected from sanitization.
Jie Wei1, Yan Jin2, Tom Sims2 and Kalmia E. Kniel1
11 November 2009. Department of Animal and Food Sciences, 044 Townsend Hall, 531 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19716. Phone: (302) 831-6513. Fax: (302) 831-2822. E-mail: American Society for Microbiology
Contaminants In Biosolids: Byproduct of Science and Technology
“A review of articles on environmental signaling and endocrine disruptors described the potential of a “steroid cycle,” whereby hormones are introduced into agriculture and via uptake into plants are recycled back in the animal and human populations.
Christine Johnson, June 2003 ;TransAdvocate.org
Persistence of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium on Lettuce and Parsley and in Soils on Which They Were Grown in Fields Treated with Contaminated Manure Composts or Irrigation Water
Occurrence of Salmonella on vegetables and survival in soil on which these vegetables were grown, irrespective of source of contamination through irrigation water or compost, suggest both contaminated manure compost and irrigation water can play important roles in contaminating soil and vegetables with Salmonella for an extended period of time.
Mahbub Islam, Jennie Morgan, Michael P. Doyle, Sharad C. Phatak, Patricia Millner, and Xiuping Jiang; Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. March 2004, Vol. 1, No. 1: 27-35
Agricultural fertilizer could pose risk to human fertility, sheep study finds
Eating meat from animals grazed on land treated with commonly used agricultural fertilizers might have serious implications for pregnant women and the future reproductive health of their unborn children, according to new research.
Date: March 2, 2016
Source: University of Nottingham
Human Enteric Pathogen Internalization by Root Uptake into Food Crops
With an increasing number of outbreaks and illnesses associated with produce contaminated before harvest, understanding the potential of produce contamination by pathogens can aid in the development of preventative and post-harvest processing measures to reduce microbial populations. The potential for uptake of foodborne pathogen, both bacterial and viral, through roots into food crops is reviewed.
Kirsten A. Hirneisen, Manan Sharma, and Kalmia E. Kniel. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. May 2012, 9(5): 396-405. doi:10.1089/fpd.2011.1044; May 2, 2012
Fresh fruit and vegetables as vehicles for the transmission of human pathogens
Recent investigations have identified fruits and vegetables are the source of many disease outbreaks. A better understanding of plant, microbiological, environmental, processing and food handling factors that facilitate contamination will allow development of evidence-based policies, procedures and technologies aimed at reducing the risk of contamination of fresh produce.
Cedric N. Berger,1 Samir V. Sodha,2 Robert K. Shaw,1 Patricia M. Griffin,2 David Pink,3 Paul Hand3 and Gad Frankel1* 1Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK. 2Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. 3Warwick HRI, University of Warwick, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire CV35 9EF, UK.
Environmental Microbiology (2010) 12(9), 2385–2397 doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2010.02297.x
Received 5 May, 2010; accepted 6 June, 2010. *For correspondence. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. (+44) 20 75945253; Fax (+44) 20 75943069.