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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Risk of Escherichia Coli O157:h7 Contamination Associated with Close Proximity of An Orchard to An Active Pasture

Author
item Annous, Bassam

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2004
Publication Date: March 28, 2004
Citation: Annous, B.A. 2004. Risk of escherichia coli o157:h7 contamination associated with close proximity of an orchard to an active pasture. SIM Food Microbiology Conference. p. 17.

Technical Abstract: Previous work from this laboratory showed that constituents of the orchard environment, and proximity to pasture were potential sources of Escherichia coliO157:H7 contamination. Recently we demonstrated that zero, 33, 33, and 100% of apple samples collected from an orchard next to a pasture during the months of June, July, August, and September, respectively, were contaminated with generic E. coli, as far removed as 21 rows of trees (148 m). E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from soil samples collected from the orchard and pasture, and from fecal samples collected from the pasture. PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results showed that generic E. coli and E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from the orchard were identical to isolates from pasture. This study confirms that close proximity of an orchard to a pasture increases the risk of E. coli contamination of apples. Although none of the isolates from apples were E. coli O157:H7, its presence in the orchard environment can be a potential source of contamination. Thus, it is advisable that orchards not be located near a pasture or other animal production locations.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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