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E. coli O157:H7 in Lettuce and Leafy Greens: Strategies for Developing an Intervention Assessment Model

Asilomar, California, November 13-15, 2006

This is the fourth in a series of collaboratives for the project "Building a Framework for Prioritizing Opportunities to Reduce Risk." The objective was to generate ideas, facilitate discussion, and make progress towards applying the conceptual framework to a real-world problem, namely that of comparing intervention strategies for E. coli O157:H7 in lettuce and other leafy greens. The workshop explored the obstacles to identifying interventions along the farm-to-fork continuum and to assessing their costs and effectiveness, as well as how the use of intervention assessment modeling may help to find and evaluate intervention opportunities.

Session 1: Welcome and Introductions
Moderator: Juliana Ruzante, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS)

Session 2: Setting Up the Problem
Moderator: Juliana Ruzante, WIFSS

Mike Batz University of Maryland/FSRC Towards an Interventions Assessment Model for E. coli O157:H7 in Leafy Greens
Investigation of past outbreaks including the 2006 spinach outbreak � lessons learned
Jeff Farrar CDHS E. coli O157:H7 and Spinach 2006
Tracy L. Ayers Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Outbreaks of E. coli O157 Infections Associated with Lettuce and Other Leafy Greens
Session 3: On-Farm Module
Moderator: Michelle Jay, CDHS and WIFSS

Overview of Lettuce Production, California and Yuma, Arizona
Mary Zischke California Lettuce Research Board (CLRB) Leafy Greens: Industry Statistics
Belinda Platts Dole Lettuce Production: Patterns and Practices
Jorge Fonseca University of Arizona Lettuce Production in Yuma
Trevor Suslow UC Davis Overview of Spinach Production, California
All   Discussion: Identification of Potential Preharvest Risk Factors
E. coli O157:H7 � What do we know about sources and environmental ecology?
Rob Mandrell USDA-ARS E. coli O157:H7: What Do We Know About Sources and Environmental Ecology?
Rob Atwill UC Davis Characterizing the Risk of E. coli Contamination from Animal Agriculture and Wildlife
E. coli O157:H7 � What do we know about the pre-harvest and at-harvest lettuce and leafy green/human pathogen interaction?
Maria Brandl USDA/ARS Preharvest Factors in Leafy Greens Contamination
All   Discussion: The Ability to Model Pathogens in the Production and Harvesting of Leafy Greens� State of Knowledge and Key Data Gaps
Session 4: Processing and Distribution Chains
Moderator: Linda Harris, WIFSS

Overview of Processing Lettuce and Leafy Greens and what do we know about impacts of processing and ecology in the processing and packaging environment?
Jim Gorny United Fresh Produce Assoc. Lettuce and Leafy Greens Fresh-Cut Product Preparation
Retail/Food Service/Consumer � What role in the safety of lettuce and leafy greens?
Don Schaffner Rutgers University Retail/Food Service/Consumer�What Role in the Safety of Lettuce and Leafy Greens?
All   Discussion: The Ability to Model Pathogens in the Processing and Distribution of Leafy Greens� State Of Knowledge and Key Data Gaps
Session 5: Interventions and Policy
Moderator: Mike Taylor, University of Maryland/FSRC

Helen Jensen Iowa State University/FSRC Economic Considerations for Intervention Strategies
All   Round Table: Pre- and Post-Harvest Intervention Strategies
Session 6: Risk Modeling and Data Gaps
Moderator: Mike Batz, University of Maryland/FSRC

Don Schaffner Rutgers University Risk Assessment Modeling for Other Produce Categories
All   Round Table: Pre- and Post-Harvest Intervention Strategies
Michelle Danyluk UC Davis Risk Assessment Modeling of Salmonella in Almonds
All   Round table: Moving Toward Developing an Intervention Model for Lettuce and Leafy Greens and E. coli O157:H7.
Session 7: Summary and Next Steps
Moderator: Jerry Gillespie, WIFSS