Salmonella splashing on produce

Nearly one-half of foodborne illnesses in the United States can be attributed to fresh produce consumption. The preharvest stage of production presents a critical opportunity to prevent produce contamination in the field from contaminating postharvest operations and exposing consumers to foodborne pathogens. One produce-contamination route that is not often explored is the transfer of pathogens in the soil to edible portions of crops via splash water.

We report here on the results from multiple field and microcosm experiments examining the potential for Salmonella contamination of produce crops via splash water, and the effect of soil moisture content on Salmonella survival in soil and concentration in splash water. In field and microcosm experiments, we detected Salmonella for up to 8 to 10 days after inoculation in soil and on produce. Salmonella and suspended solids were detected in splash water at heights of up to 80 cm from the soil surface. Soil-moisture conditions before the splash event influenced the detection of Salmonella on crops after the splash events—Salmonella concentrations on produce after rainfall were significantly higher in wet plots than in dry plots (geometric mean difference = 0.43 CFU/g; P = 0.03). Similarly, concentrations of Salmonella in splash water in wet plots trended higher than concentrations from dry plots (geometric mean difference = 0.67 CFU/100 mL; P = 0.04).

These results indicate that splash transfer of Salmonella from soil onto crops can occur and that antecedent soil-moisture content may mediate the efficiency of microbial transfer. Splash transfer of Salmonella may, therefore, pose a hazard to produce safety. The potential for the risk of splash should be further explored in agricultural regions in which Salmonella and other pathogens are present in soil. These results will help inform the assessment of produce safety risk and the development of management practices for the mitigation of produce contamination.

Salmonella survival in soil and transfer onto produce via splash events

December 2019

Journal of Food Protection vol. 82 no. 12


Kids can go back to the pool in Kentucky as shigella wanes

As the temperature climbed to 105F today in Manhattan (Kansas) I was once again thankful for City Park, down the street, with it’s groovy new splash and water park.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Sorenne hasn’t had an accident – yet – but who knows if she will.

It’s a tough balancing act for city types – public health versus cool relief.

WLWT repots that children who are not toilet trained can again swim in public pools in Northern Kentucky, under revised guidelines issued by the Northern Kentucky Health Department on Thursday.

The restriction, in place since June 3, has been part of an effort to stop the spread of shigella. More than 100 cases of shigella have been reported in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties since April. Typically, about 25 cases are reported for the entire year.

"When faced with a shigella outbreak, a big concern is that the bacteria, and other similar illnesses, could infect a larger population through local swimming pools," said Dr. Lynne M. Saddler, District Director of Health, in a news release.

"The restriction on diapers in pools was an effective strategy. In past shigella outbreaks, when restrictions were not in place, we saw a significant increase of shigella cases and other recreational water illnesses in June. This June, with restrictions in place, we have not seen as many cases of shigella, or other illnesses, including cryptosporidium."

Other efforts to contain the Shigella outbreak will continue, focusing on child care centers and swimming pool facilities, officials said.

And keep those chlorine levels up.

South Carolina Splash Pad reopens after crypto case with new rules, guidelines

Wandering around Brisbane on a Saturday afternoon we came upon the splash park and beach at Southbank, close to downtown.

Sorenne did some impromptu playing, and I noticed at least three little kids running around naked. The lifeguard soon happened along and told the parents to at least put a diaper on the toddlers. I asked the lifeguard, was that to prevent little ones pooping in the splash park and he said, he didn’t know, it was just policy.

It’s a good policy.

WIS reports the Splash Pad at Drew Wellness Center is back open after being closed for nearly a month when a child was found sick with a case of the parasite cryptosporidium.

Since then, the city has revamped its procedures for keeping track of how the pad is maintained.

Ray Borders-Gray with the Drew Wellness Center, said,

"After what happened, we took a good hard look how we were doing business. The standard Operating Procedures for the Splash Pad is now written down, all staff have taken a look at it, the standards are now here on site, so if anyone has any questions about what should happen, when it should happen. …

"We are asking people to wear the proper swim attire. We want to make sure the little ones are in the diaper swim pants and we ask that people do not bring their pets to the Splash Pad."