Lesson Learned from the 2018 E. coli Outbreak Investigation and the Future of Food Safety
Channah Rock, Professor and Water Quality Specialist, Department Environmental Science, University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is researching the Spring 2018 E. Coli contamination of Yuma-grown romaine lettuce to help determine environmental influences on bacterial persistence and distribution in the Yuma agricultural region. The goal of the work, which is being conducted in partnership with U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state agriculture officials and local growers, is to improve growing and harvesting practices, to mitigate contamination risks, and ultimately to enhance produce safety. This lecture will help explain the methods, lessons learned, and initial outcomes of this landmark multi-year investigation. For more background, here is a UA News Article on the project.
Dr. Channah Rock is a Professor at the University of Arizona in the Department Environmental Science and also maintains a joint appointment as a Water Quality Specialist with UA Cooperative Extension. Dr. Rock is PI on several projects relating to microbial evaluation of water quality for the protection of public health as well as promoting water reuse as a safe and practical resource. She was extensively involved in supporting stakeholders, the CDC and FDA during the 2018 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak investigation of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region.