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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Survival of Fecal Organisms and Indicators in Agricultural Soils Amended with Raw Manure

Location: Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 1245-32420-005-22
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 20, 2011
End Date: Aug 30, 2014

Objective:
Conduct controlled environmental studies to: 1) compare survival of manure-borne pathogens with surrogates; and 2) develop a baseline reference of pathogen and surrogate survival in manure-amended soils for comparison to field survival, accounting for environmental effects. Conduct field studies to evaluate survival of surrogates in raw manure-amended soils used for growing fresh produce. Contribute to development of a systematized protocol to determine safe practices for use of raw manure as a soil amendment in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in a manner compliant with safety standards of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, and mandates put forth in the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.

Approach:
For controlled environmental studies, USDA-ARS and UMES will collect raw manure from local animal production facilities, will characterize (and supplement, as necessary) the microbial load of the manure, will amend with appropriate pathogenic microorganisms, and determine survival as under different environmental conditions. For field studies, USDA-ARS and UMES will collect raw manure from local animal production facilities, will characterize (and supplement, as necessary) the microbial load of the manure, will apply manure to production fields consistent with current industry practices, and will monitor local weather and environmental impacts and the resultant survival and persistence of microorganisms of interest. USDA-ARS and UMES, in consultation with FDA, will determine selected manure types/categories for study, appropriate field application methods, sampling times, analytical protocols and methods. USDA-ARS and UMES will provide the FDA Project Officer, on at least a quarterly basis, a status report on the current state of the study, with information on data generated from completed milestones, status of current efforts, any technical difficulties encountered and plans to alleviate the issues while moving forward, and brief “next-step” discussions. No more than six months after the completion of field studies from all locations, USDA/ARS and UMES shall provide FDA/CFSAN with a final report on the project.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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