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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Environmental Microbiology and Foodbourne Outbreaks

Description: This program conducts microbiological work to enhance Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and other novel preventive controls for reducing pathogen contamination of high risk produce commodities such as tomatoes, cantaloupes, and leafy greens. The program also helps to pinpoint important reservoirs of environmental contamination, thereby enhancing preventive controls and reducing time needed to conduct field investigations to identify sources of human illness. This program component is critical to FSMA mandates on the establishment of science-based rules and guidelines for the produce industry. The program provides the laboratory science necessary for the Centers regulatory, policy, and compliance and enforcement programs for fresh-cut produce microbiology. This program specifically identifies environmental and farm management risks and practices leading to the internal contamination of produce cultivated for the US food supply. Collectively this work will lead to better and more specific enhanced regional produce safety guidance and safer, ready-to-eat vegetables and fruits.

Milestone DescriptionMilestone DateMilestone StatusMilestone Completion Date
A. Conduct DelMarVA Peninsula Salmonella Follow-up Studies and Metadata Analyses
i. Complete follow-up sampling study of high-production fruits such as watermelon including watermelon farm production environments 3/31/2022
On Track
ii. Complete metadata analysis of Virginia Eastern shore longitudinal environmental Salmonella study including 12/31/2022
On Track
iii. Identify unique adaptive changes among Salmonella Newport 61 associated with long-term persistence in surface waters and enhanced infiltration and internalization into tomato fruits in the field 12/31/2022
On Track
B. Conduct Pennsylvania Watershed Salmonella Index Study for Salmonella Baseline Prevalence in Mid-Atlantic Region Surface Waters
i. Complete 3-year longitudinal sampling study of Pennsylvania surface waters including the Susquehanna River and other Chesapeake Bay watershed tributaries for Salmonella prevalence and diversity 3/31/2022
On Hold
ii. Assign source attribution, if any, of regional feral wildlife and agricultural animal production to most prevalent Salmonella serovars in PA surface waters. 3/31/2022
Not Yet Started
iii. Determine antibiotic resistance profiles among most prominent Salmonellae associated with surface waters. 9/30/2021
On Track
iv. Ascertain any significant adaptive changes that enhance persistence of specific Salmonellae in regional surface waters and adjacent agricultural animal industries. 3/31/2022
Not Yet Started
v. Ascertain whole genome sequences for all isolates collected from the study and add to the GenomeTrakr WGS database for enhanced surveillance and environmental linkages to potential unknown clinical illness clusters. 9/30/2021
On Track
C. Conduct Pennsylvania Listeria monocytogenes Pome Fruit Environmental Study in Collaboration with Pennsylvania State University
i. Complete 3-year longitudinal sampling study of Pennsylvania pome fruit orchards (ie., apples and pears) for prevalence and diversity of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in the pome fruit orchard environment. 12/31/2020
On Track
ii. Establish incidence of most predominant and fit serotypes of Lm in surface waters on and around the orchard environment. 12/31/2020
On Track
iii. Determine seasonal or temporal fluctuations occur in the incidence and prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in the pome fruit orchard growing environment. 12/31/2020
On Track
iv. Evaluate Lm persistence and infiltration of mature pome fruit through blossom contamination in the orchard. 12/31/2020
On Hold
v. Complete 3-year longitudinal sampling study of pome fruit processing (ie., apples and pears) facilities for prevalence and diversity of Listeria monocytogenes in the pome fruit processing environment. 12/31/2020
On Hold
vi. Evaluate various biocide treatments on control of harborage of Lm in specific production facility niches (ie roller brushes, belts, etc.). 12/31/2021
On Hold
vii. Provide recommendations to pome fruit growers for novel and/or improved agricultural practices related to minimizing risk of Lm during growth and harvesting of apples, pears, and other commodities. 6/30/2021
On Track
viii. Provide series of recommendations to pome fruit processors for novel and/or improved processing and sanitation practices related to minimizing risk of Lm harborage and spread into specific facility niches. 6/30/2022
On Hold
ix. Ascertain whole genome sequences for all isolates collected from the Pennsylvania pome fruit study and add to the GenomeTrakr WGS database. 12/31/2020
On Track
D. Conduct Georgia Listeria monocytogenes Stone Fruit Environmental Study in Collaboration with University of Georgia
i. Complete 3-year longitudinal sampling study of Georgia stone fruit orchards (ie., peaches) for prevalence and diversity of Listeria monocytogenes in the stone fruit orchard environment. 9/30/2023
Not Yet Started
ii. Establish incidence of most predominant and fit serotypes of Lm in surface waters on and around the orchard environment. 9/30/2022
Not Yet Started
iii. Determine whether any seasonal or temporal fluctuations occur in the incidence and prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in the stone fruit orchard growing environment. 9/30/2022
Not Yet Started
iv. Evaluate the likelihood of Lm persistence and infiltration of mature stone fruit through blossom contamination in the orchard. 9/1/2023
Not Yet Started
v. Complete 3-year longitudinal sampling study of stone fruit processing (ie., peaches) facilities for prevalence and diversity of Listeria monocytogenes in the stone fruit processing environment. 9/30/2023
Not Yet Started
vi. Evaluate various biocide treatments on control of harborage of Lm in specific production facility niches (i.e. roller brushes, belts, etc.). 9/30/2023
Not Yet Started
vii. Provide recommendations to stone fruit growers for novel and/or improved agricultural practices related to minimizing risk of Lm during growth and harvesting of peaches, and other stone fruit commodities. 9/1/2023
Not Yet Started
viii. Provide recommendations to stone fruit processors for novel and/or improved processing and sanitation practices related to minimizing risk of Lm harborage and spread into specific facility niches. 9/1/2023
Not Yet Started
ix. Ascertain whole genome sequences for all isolates collected from the Georgia stone fruit study and add to the GenomeTrakr WGS database. 9/1/2022
Not Yet Started
E. Conduct International Longitudinal Environmental Surveys of Surface Waters for Salmonella in collaboration with FDA Center of Excellence at the Univeristy of Maryland (JIFSAN)
i. Conduct Salmonella longitudinal sampling study of South American surface waters in high produce production regions. 12/31/2022
On Hold
ii. Conduct Salmonella longitudinal sampling study of North American surface waters proximal to high produce production regions. 12/31/2022
On Hold

Key Projects Legend

Milestone StatusDefinition
Not Yet StartedWork for specific milestone has not yet been started.
CompletedMilestone and/or overall project is completed.
On TrackMilestone - On track for completion by milestone deadline. Quarter status - Project is on track for completion based on overall milestone status.
On HoldMilestone - On hold, but deadline for completion has not passed. Quarter status - Project is on hold, based on overall milestone status.
DelayedMilestone - Delayed as it has not been completed and deadline has passed. Quarter status - Project is delayed based on overall milestone status.

Glossary

Note: The data provided on this website is produced on an ongoing basis for performance management purposes and is subject to change due to updates of preliminary estimates, corrections, or other reasons. In addition, FDA may change the type or amount of data provided on this website at any time. Information marked as "Completed" may include measures and/or key projects for which activities are ongoing but no longer tracked as part of FDA-TRACK.

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