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Posts Tagged: Food Safety

Summer safety: Tips to avoid foodborne and heat illnesses

Happy summer! It's time to get the barbecue grilling and the pool party started. To keep your summer healthy and fun, UC ANR offers some important safety tips.

Check the internal temperature of meat cooked on the barbecue with a thermometer to make sure it has reached a safe temperature - 145 degrees for roasts, 160 degrees for ground meats. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Food safety

Food poisoning is a serious health threat in the United States, especially during the hot summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans suffer from a foodborne illness each year, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. 

Both the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggest four key rules to follow to stay food safe:

  • Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water.
  • Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards. And be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from other items in your refrigerator.
  • Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature; be sure to check internal temperature by using a food thermometer.
  • Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.

Here are some additional tips from the USDA. Be sure to check out the CDC's comprehensive food safety website, which also has materials in both Spanish and English. For food safety tips in real time, follow USDA Food Safety on Twitter.

Summer also means more outside grilling, which can pose unique food safety concerns. Before firing up the barbecue, check out these five easy tips from UC Davis.

Don't let potato salad or other foods sit out for more than two hours; no more than one hour if the ambient temperature is 90 degrees or above. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Handling food safety on the road 

Before you take off on a road trip, camping adventure or boating excursion, don't forget to consider food safety. You'll need to plan ahead and invest in a good cooler.

Remember, warns the USDA, don't let food sit out for more than one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F. And discard any food left out more than two hours; after only one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F.

If there are any doubts about how long the food was out, it is best to throw it out!

Get more food safety tips for traveling from the USDA.

Avoid heat illness

“Summer can be a time for fun and relaxation, but in warm climates, we need to stay aware of the signs of heat illness and help keep our family members and co-workers safe,” says Brian Oatman, director of Risk & Safety Services at UC ANR.

“UC ANR provides comprehensive resources on our website, but it's designed around California requirements for workplace safety.” But, Oatman notes, much of the information applies.

“The training and basic guidance – drink water, take a rest when you are feeling any symptoms and having a shaded area available – are useful for anyone at any time.”

To increase your awareness of heat illness symptoms – and to learn more about prevention – Oatman suggests a few resources.

“Our Heat Illness Prevention page has many resources, including links for training, heat illness prevention plans, and links to other sites. One of the external sites for heat illness that I recommend is the Cal/OSHA site, which spells out the basic requirements for heat illness prevention in the workplace. It's also available in Spanish." 

For those on the go, Oatman also recommends the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mobile heat safety app.

 

Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 8:53 AM
Focus Area Tags: Family Food

UCCE specialist Carl Winter, the “Elvis of E. coli,” retires after 32 years

Carl Winter, shown performing at a conference, is an internationally respected food-safety expert known for using humor and music to communicate important messages about food and agriculture.

He has been called the “Elvis of E. coli” and the “Sinatra of Salmonella,” and now Carl Winter, a UC Cooperative Extension food toxicologist for 32 years, will rock and roll his way into retirement on July 1, 2019.

Based at UC Davis, Winter researches the detection of pesticides and naturally occurring toxins in foods, how to assess their risks and how to use science in the regulatory decision-making process.

His most recent work includes investigating the relationship between allowable levels and safety levels for pesticide residues on food crops. Author of numerous journal articles, books and book chapters, he has testified before the U.S. Congress on four occasions and has given nearly 1,000 scientific presentations and more than 1,000 media interviews over the course of his career.

The internationally respected food-safety expert is equally known for using humor and music to communicate important messages about food and agriculture.

“Dr. Winter has been a strong and reassuring voice for consumers about the safety of produce and a positive influence on fruit and vegetable consumption,” said Teresa Thorne, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming. “He has been an invaluable resource for media, consumers, his students and the produce industry because of his ability to make complex issues understandable. He has set such a high standard and his voice will be missed.”

Winter, who is an accomplished musician, also studies how to improve educational activities by incorporating music into food safety curricula. His humorous musical parodies about food safety aim to educate through entertainment. Accompanying himself on keyboard and guitar, Winter covers Will Smith's “Gettin' Jiggy Wit It,” as “Don't Get Sicky Wit It,” and The Beatles' “I Want to Hold Your Hand” becomes “You'd Better Wash Your Hands.”

Winter has won awards for his innovative and creative musical approach to educate the public about food safety.

The food safety musician has performed songs at nearly 300 scientific conferences and meetings in 37 states with his own lyrics, such as “Hey, Salmonella, did you think I'd lay down and die?” for Gloria Gaynor's “I Will Survive.” He has distributed 30,000 audio CDs and animated DVDs and his YouTube page has received more than 1 million views. Winter's food safety videos can also be seen at http://foodsafe.ucdavis.edu/html/video.html.

Carl Winter
A Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, Winter has received numerous awards, including the 2012 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Communication Award; the Hod Ogden Medal from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention /Association of State and Territorial Directors of Health Promotion and Public Health Education, for “his innovative and creative musical approach to educate the public about food safety”;  the National Science Foundation International Food Safety Leadership Award for Education and Training; and the Institute of Food Technologists Bernard L. Oser Food Ingredient Safety Award

Winter, who was vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology for the past six years, also served as a member of UC Agriculture and Natural Resource's Program Council from 2015 through 2019.

In retirement, he plans to continue playing keyboard and guitar for the Northern California bands Petty Jack Flash, Keep on Truckin', and Elvis and the Experience, as well as travel throughout the world with his wife, Robin.   

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 12:22 PM
Tags: Carl Winter (6), Food Safety (90)
Focus Area Tags: Food

Livestock and produce farmers invited to discuss food safety in Stockton and Holtville

At the Good Agriculture Neighbors Workshop, participants will discuss how to assure the safety of fresh produce grown outdoors in the vicinity of livestock and wildlife like this field of leafy greens grown at UC Desert Research and Extension Center.

Livestock operations and fresh produce growers in California are among the most highly regulated in the country, but confusion often exists about what each community does to keep our food safe. The California Good Agriculture Neighbors Workshop: The Produce-Livestock Interface Workshop aims to clarify those roles.

Fruit and vegetable growers, livestock owners and others interested in assuring the safety of fresh produce grown in the vicinity of livestock and wildlife are invited to explore collaborative methods that advance food safety.

At locations in the Central Valley and Imperial Valley, food safety scientists, regulators, growers and ranchers will share what they know about the produce-livestock interface and discuss how we can make food even safer.

“Produce and livestock farmers in Southern California won't want to miss this seminar on food safety June 11 at Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville,” says Jose Luis Aguiar, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisor for Riverside County. “Come and hear directly from scientists and regulators about the latest research and regulatory news. The agricultural industry is doing its part to be a good neighbor and work collaboratively to make food safer.”

Participants will gain a better understanding of how co-management of neighboring farms can further enhance food safety, reduce potential for fresh produce outbreaks, and limit liability for both growers and ranchers.

In the morning, speakers will cover laws, regulations and practices that already exist to protect food and environmental safety. In the afternoon, participants will break out into groups to examine how these practices can be leveraged. 

There will be time for discussion with Ag Innovations facilitating the meeting. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and to ask produce safety questions.

The free workshop, subsidized by a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is being offered in Holtville and Stockton. Lunch will be provided. For more information and to register, visit www.wifss.ucdavis.edu/good-ag-neighbors.

June 11, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Desert Research & Extension Center
1004 East Holton Rd
Holtville, CA 92250

June 13, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Robert J Cabral Agricultural Center
2101 E. Earhart Ave
Stockton, CA 95206

The produce safety-livestock interface workshops are sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Western Center for Food Safety at UC Davis, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources using cooperative funding from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Western Growers and California Beef Council are sponsoring the lunches.

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 11:17 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Get required produce safety training from UC

The food production environment introduces many potential points of contamination risk from the soil to the table. Consumer demand for food safety practices along with new government regulations for fresh produce have raised grower awareness of the need for best practices to reduce microbial risks during the production and processing of nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Produce Safety Courses Available in Northern California

Produce safety training courses offered through the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) are informing the farming community about Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) to reduce microbial risks and meet Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirements. The FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires vegetable, nut, and fruit growers, to have at least one supervisor or responsible party on the produce farm who has successfully completed food safety training. The training courses are offered in English and Spanish and run through June 2019.

Donna Pahl, UCCE, dons a poop emoji hat during table top exercise emphasizing the need for pre-harvest inspection of animal feces.

What to expect

The Produce Safety Alliance team at Cornell University developed the curriculum for the PSA Grower Training Courses working together with many growers, researchers, extension educators, produce industry members, and state and federal regulatory personnel.

Trainers, such as lead trainer David Goldenberg, food safety and security training coordinator at WIFSS, provide approximately seven hours of instruction time, which includes table top exercises and question and discussion time.

Topics include:

  • An introduction to produce safety
  • Worker health, hygiene, and training
  • Soil amendments
  • Wildlife, domesticated animals and land use
  • Agricultural water, production water and post-harvest water
  • Post harvest handling and sanitation, and how to develop a farm food safety plan
Goldenberg (back row 3rd from left), Gazula (front row green sweater), Cromwell (front row far right), and Pahl (front row 2nd from left), pose for photo with participants from the opening PSA Grower Traiing course in Davis

Training underway

The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training courses, underway since January of 2019, have been attended by vegetable, nut, and fruit growers from Butte County to Monterey County. David Goldenberg along with Aparna Gazula, farm advisor for small farms and specialty crops, with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension in Santa Clara County, conducted the first WIFSS training class. Assisting in the training with Goldenberg and Gazula were Avery Cromwell with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Donna Pahl, Cornell University, Produce Safety Alliance Extension Associate, with the Southwest Region, Riverside.

Dr. Russell talks to farming community in Oroville about GAPs.
Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, research microbiologist and manager for the Western Center for Food Safety and Liaison to WIFSS, joined Goldenberg in Oroville in March, where they presented an interactive demonstration of wildlife fecal contamination risk and mitigation at the Butte County Farm Bureau.

Benefits from attending the course

Course participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies training course completion. To receive the certificate, you need to be present for the entire one-day course and submit the paperwork to your trainer at the end of the course.

Costs to attend

Sign up now for training courses to obtain a certificate of completion for the mandatory training to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. This is a chance to learn about foodborne illness and its impacts to the produce industry and consumers, different types of foodborne illness organisms, why prevention of contamination is critical to produce safety, how to conduct basic risk assessment, and steps involved in monitoring, record keeping, and corrective actions. CDFA, through a contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is subsidizing the cost of the training. A $30 cost per registrant will be charged to provide a lunch, beverages and the course manual and certificate completion.

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 9:33 AM
Tags: food safety (90)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

July 2018 News Clips

California's Wildfires Are Spreading Faster and Burning More This Year. Experts Say It 'Can Only Get Worse'

(TIME) Jennifer Calfas, July 31

…Rising temperatures aren't the only reason fires have grown in size and aggression, though scientists are quick not to place blame entirely on climate change. Urban development in vulnerable areas can make fires more devastating, and many of the state's most destructive fires were started by humans including the Carr Fire. Max Moritz, a specialist in cooperative extension at the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resource, says hotter temperatures have made fire seasons longer, too. Scientists see a direct link between rising temperatures and the amount of dry brush and ample fuel, which makes the fires fast-moving and often more explosive.

“There's good, solid research linking temperature increases to trends in fire activity,” says Moritz. “But it's really long-term trends.”

http://time.com/5353986/california-wildfire-2018-season/

Alfalfa & forage research grants awarded

(Morning Ag Clips) July 31

The California Alfalfa and Forage Research Foundation (Foundation), formed in 2015, is pleased to announce that it has awarded its first round of research grants….

Selected projects:

EVALUATION OF WEED MANAGEMENT IN CONVENTIONAL SEEDLING ALFALFA 
submitted by Mariano Galla, UCCE Agronomy & Weed Science, Butte and Tehama Counties

EVALUATION OF WEED MANAGEMENT IN ESTABLISHED ALFALFA 
submitted by Thomas Getts, UCCE Weed Ecology and Cropping Systems Advisor – Lassen, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra Counties

REDUCING WEED PRESSURE DURING STAND ESTABLISHMENT USING PRE-PLANT WEED GERMINATION FOLLOWED BY MECHANICAL OR CHEMICAL CONTROL 
submitted by Sarah Light, UCCE Agronomy Advisor, Sutter, Yuba and Colusa Counties

https://www.morningagclips.com/alfalfa-forage-research-grants-awarded/

Agricultural practices showcased at IREC Field Day in Tulelake

(Siskiyou Daily) Danielle Jester, July 30 

An inside look at agricultural research being done at the Intermountain Research and Extension Center in Tulelake was given to those who attended the IREC's Annual Field Day on July 26.

http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/20180730/agricultural-practices-showcased-at-irec-field-day-in-tulelake

Firefighters Are Focused on Flames, Not Climate Change

(Scientific American) Kelsey Brugger, July 30

Climate change has exacerbated wildfires throughout America, and it's testing the people who fight them.

…Scientists are careful not to attribute any one wildfire to global warming, “but it sure looks like climate change,” said Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist in the Environmental Science, Policy, & Management Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/firefighters-are-focused-on-flames-not-climate-change/

How California copes with Asian citrus psyllids

(Capital Press) Padma Nagappan, July 27

Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease, has devastated the Florida citrus industry, and researchers and growers are working to prevent its spread to California's commercial groves.

…The disease is still confined to residential trees, but is spreading throughout Southern California — in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

“That picture could easily change this fall, there's a lag time from when trees are infected and when we can tell that they're infected,” said Elizabeth Grafton Cardwell, an entomologist at the University of California-Riverside and the director of the San Joaquin Valley research center.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Orchards/20180725/how-california-copes-with-asian-citrus-psyllids 

Portugal, the government is relying on an ancient firefighting technology: goats

(Christian Science Monitor) July 26

Portugal, the government is relying on an ancient firefighting technology: goats. 

Last year deaths from wildfires in Portugal reached a record high of 106. This summer, however, hundreds of goats are being deployed to eat underbrush and dry vegetation that can serve as kindling. Working with goats “allows you to treat areas that are difficult to reach otherwise,” Dan Macon, a University of California Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources adviser, told accuweather.com. 

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/2018/0726/Meanwhile-in-Portugal-the-government-is-relying-on-an-ancient-firefighting-technology-goats

Phylloxera can also appear on own-rooted vines

(Western Farm Press) Tim Hearden, July 25

A University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor cautions that even own-rooted vines can be susceptible to grape phylloxera, a tiny aphid-like insect that feeds on roots.

Lynn Wunderlich, a UCCE advisor based at Placerville, says some growers in her area are taken aback by the discovery of phylloxera in their own-rooted vines that are declining. The insect is thought to feed on certain rootstocks, stunting growth of vines or killing them, but it also can affect vines that are not grafted onto rootstock.

https://www.westernfarmpress.com/grapes/phylloxera-can-also-appear-own-rooted-vines

Minimize dust in vineyards for effective weed control

(Western Farm Press) Tim Hearden, July 25

In the hot summer months, activities in vineyards — as well as orchards and other farm fields — can kick up a lot of dust. And aside from causing soil erosion, tissue damage, reduced photosynthesis, and other troubles, wind-blown dust can complicate weed control, a University of California Cooperative Extension advisor says.

That's because dust can reduce the efficacy of glyphosate, which is an important tool for the management of weeds in vines and elsewhere, according to Lynn Sosnoskie, agronomy and weed science advisor based at Merced.

https://www.westernfarmpress.com/grapes/minimize-dust-vineyards-effective-weed-control

Family of mountain lions visits research center in Hopland Monday

(KRCR) Marissa Papanek, July 24

According to the Hopland Research and Extension Center, a family of mountain lions were captured on camera strolling down a Hopland trail Monday.

HREC said via Facebook that it uses trail cameras to understand local wildlife populations and their movement and behavior. Those cameras caught some of the area's largest inhabitants Monday, including adult and young mountain lions.

https://krcrtv.com/north-coast-news/eureka-local-news/family-of-mountain-lions-visits-research-center-in-hopland-monday

USDA Awards UC and Karuk Tribe $1.2 Million for Research and Education

(Native America Today) July 24

...Jennifer Sowerwine, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley and co-founder of the Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative, and Lisa Hillman, program manager of the Karuk Tribe's Píkyav Field Institute, will co-lead the xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it research project.

https://www.nativeamericatoday.com/breaking-news-4

UC advisor Blake Sanden retires after decades of research in almonds and pistachios

(Ceres Imaging) July 24

Blake Sanden, a University of California advisor for almond and pistachio growers since the 1990s, officially retired as of June (for more on Blake's career achievements, see this blog on the UC site).

http://www.ceresimaging.net/blog/uc-advisor-blake-sanden-retires-after-decades-of-research-in-almonds-and-pistachios

Could Coffee Be California's Next Cash Crop?

(San Francisco Magazine) Luke Tsai, July 24

The story of California's coffee experiment begins with Jay Ruskey...

In the many online videos you can find of Ruskey, who is 45 years old, he's charismatic and good-looking, with floppy hair, a toothy grin, and a distant resemblance to the actor John Krasinski. He isn't the first person to try to grow coffee in California, but he is the first to preach the gospel convincingly and to make a serious attempt on a commercial scale. It's an effort that stretches back more than 15 years, to when Mark Gaskell, a small-farm adviser with the UC Cooperative Extension program, handed Ruskey nearly 40 Central American coffee plants and helped him figure out how to get them to grow.
https://modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/could-coffee-be-californias-next-cash-crop

Karuk cultural food and plants to be studied

(Siskiyou Daily News) July 20

The USDA recently awarded a $1.2 million Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant to UC Berkeley and the Karuk Tribe to increase resilience of cultural food and other plant resources.
According to a press release from UC California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the university and the Karuk Tribe will “learn more about stewarding native food plants in fluctuating environmental conditions.” All project activities will take place in the Karuk Tribe's Aboriginal Territory in the mid Klamath River Basin.

http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/20180720/karuk-cultural-food-and-plants-to-be-studied

High-speed Wi-Fi at ag research center may be blueprint for rural communities

(RCR Wireless News) Susan Rambo, July 20

Outside the small San Joaquin Valley town of Parlier, 20 miles south of Fresno, California, the University of California's Kearney Agricultural Research and Education Center looms over farmland. Much more impressive in person than on Google street view, the center looks like a mini university campus — which is how KARE describes itself. Researchers have studied agriculture in this location since 1965, when local farmers pitched in to buy the land and donate it to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). KARE is one of nine research and extension centers (RECs) under the umbrella of UC ANR around the state, one of which is nearby Lindcove (LREC).

… “I've been in Africa recently and the mobile coverage there was better,” said Dr. Jeffery A. Dahlberg, director of KARE, referring to some rural areas around the center. “It's embarrassing,” he said, given the relative wealth of United States.

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20180719/internet-of-things/high-speed-wifi-at-ag-research-center-may-be-blueprint-for-rural-communities-tag41

Working Landscapes

(KCAA Water Zone) Inge Bisconer, July 19

Glenda Humiston was interviewed on ecosystem services on working landscapes. Humiston is introduced at 12-minute mark, followed by audio tech difficulties. At 16 minutes, Humiston begins talking about the Elevate Rural California project's efforts to encourage biomass development, broadband connectivity and water infrastructure to create more business and jobs opportunities. One activity that Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension director in Sonoma County, is working on is building markets for ecosystem services such as groundwater recharge, oxygen produced by plants, flood protection, wildlife habitat and open space.

Humiston also encouraged listeners to participate in the California Economic Summit being held in Santa Rosa on Nov. 15-16. She noted that summit participants look for triple bottomline solutions and get things done.

http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/water/

This year's almond spurs produce next year's crop

(Ag Alert) Dennis Pollock, July 19

You may not readily see it, but healthy spurs on this year's almond trees set the table for optimizing yields next year. And it could be a mistake to weigh in with a heavy hand when it comes to pruning trees.

Elizabeth Fichtner, University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser in Tulare County, and Bruce Lampinen, UC walnut specialist with UC Davis, addressed those topics at a Central California Almond Day event in Fresno.

“All buds in the current year were formed the prior summer,” Fichtner said.

http://www.dailydemocrat.com/business/20180719/this-years-almond-spurs-produce-next-years-crop

Extreme heat in the garden: How to keep plants healthy with water, shade and mulch

(LA Daily News) Sandra Barrera, July 19

“In Southern California, Sunset zones are preferred over USDA zones due to their greater accuracy,” said Janet Hartin, an environmental horticulture advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Bernardino, Riverside and L.A. counties.

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/07/19/extreme-heat-in-the-garden-how-to-keep-plants-healthy-with-water-shade-and-mulch

Wireless smart farming to keep frost away from citrus

(RCR Wireless News) Susan Rambo, July 17

Computer science researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara are using the internet of things to prove that smart farming can be a farm implement as basic as the tractor and plough.

…Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, research entomologist, an integrated pest management (IPM) specialist and Lindcove's director remembers sorting fruit by hand.

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20180717/internet-of-things/wireless-smart-farming-to-keep-frost-away-from-citrus-tag41

What is meat, anyway? Lab-grown food sets off a debate

(Wired) Matt Simon, July 16

…There could also be a middle ground here: marketing the new product as meat, but qualifying that designation. So “cultured meat,” or “lab-grown meat”—people have even thrown around “cell-based meat” (though technically speaking, all meat is cell-based). You can't, after all, just call your soy milk plain old milk. “Almond milk is obviously not the lactate of a mammary gland,” says animal geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam of UC Davis. “So I think probably there's going to have to be some other distinguisher so it's not mislabeled, because the FDA rules on labeling is it can't be false or misleading.And if it's labeled ‘meat,' you could make an argument that that's misleading.”

https://www.wired.com/story/what-is-meat-anyway

Parasite-borne illness spurs McDonald's to pull salads from 3,000 restaurants

(Los Angeles Times) Geoffrey Mohan, July 13

…“We are seeing more of these outbreaks popping up,” said Erin DiCaprio, a cooperative extension assistant specialist at the UC Davis' Department of Food Science and Technology.

The parasites are specific to humans and tend to spread through poorly processed sewage that may find its way into irrigation sources, DiCaprio said. “It's usually associated with produce that's from outside the United States,” she said.

There is no routine testing for presence of the parasite in the U.S. produce industry, in part because it has been difficult to develop a test in the laboratory, DiCaprio said. Many physicians also overlook testing ill patients for the parasite, according to the CDC.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mcdonalds-salads-20180713-story.html

Is It Safe to Eat Local Produce After a Wildfire?

(Pacific Standard) Sophie Yeo, July 13

…But the story could be different for another popular product of small-scale farming: eggs. Another study being undertaken by scientists at the University of California–Davis is examining how the ash distributed by the fires could have affected poultry and the eggs they produce. This group, too, has just received its first batch of data.

"Chickens are unique in that they spend 25 percent of their waking time eating off the ground. It's a worst-case scenario, where they really are products of the environment because they spend so much time ingesting it. Eggs are particularly worrisome because yolks are very fatty, and a lot of these chemicals are very fat soluble," says Maurice Pitesky, a veterinarian and epidemiologist working on the study. "It's a bit of a different risk factor from some produce. I would be very surprised if we didn't find something."

https://psmag.com/environment/is-it-safe-to-eat-local-produce-after-a-wildfire

California Today: Here's What's Been Different About Fires This Year

(New York Times) Thomas Fuller, Matt Stevens, July 13

…Firefighters for decades were accustomed to seeing fires slow down considerably at night, said Scott L. Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley. But a number of recent fires have continued to advance rapidly through the night.

“Many times now in the evening fires are burning at night almost as active as they are in the day,” Professor Stephens said. “Things are happening here in California that 10 years ago I never heard about.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/us/california-today-wildfires-emmys.html

Firewise: Wildfire Preparedness Goes Beyond Horse Evacuation

(Paulick Report) Denise Steffanus, July 11

Dr. Kate Wilkin, forest and fire adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension, said farm owners can take advantage of equine grazing habits — eating grass down to the nub — to protect the safety zone.

“Having heavy grazing around your structures and then feathering it out as you go farther away from the structures is one way to protect the property,” she said. “Of course, you want to be careful not to destroy that forage by overgrazing that will cause erosion.”

https://www.paulickreport.com/horse-care-category/firewise-wildfire-preparedness-goes-beyond-horse-evacuation/

SAD story: Sugar disorder causes mid-season grape shrivel

(Western Farm Press) Tim Hearden, July 11

Among the most common headaches that grape growers encounter as their crop is developing is sugar accumulation disorder, or SAD, say University of California advisors.

Field studies involving E & J Gallo Winery and UC researchers have been under way near Clarksburg, Calif., to find solutions for SAD, which causes poor berry coloration and low sugar accumulation. It is triggered after veraison, according to Chuck Ingels of the UC Cooperative Extension in Sacramento County.

http://www.westernfarmpress.com/grapes/sad-story-sugar-disorder-causes-mid-season-grape-shrivel

Amid trade turmoil, olive industry eyes U.S. market

(Western Farm Press) Tim Hearden, July 11

…As the state's tree nut sectors are advocating vociferously for a resolution to the budding trade war with China, the European Union and other countries, one crop that is largely unscathed by all the turmoil is olives.

That's because unlike most Golden State commodities, olive exports are minimal while import competition is robust, University of California-Davis agricultural economist Daniel Sumner notes.

“Olives are in a different situation,” Sumner said during a recent grower meeting in Orland, Calif. “The big difference for olives is they're not an export crop for the United States.”

http://www.westernfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/amid-trade-turmoil-olive-industry-eyes-us-market

Effects of China's tariffs on California agriculture

(KPFA) UpFront, July 9

Beginning at the 50:00 mark, Daniel Sumner discusses the effects of China's tariffs on California agriculture.

It doesn't need to escalate to take a hit. You have the direct hits of what's happening now, you also have the threat of future things happening. As you know, business including agriculture operates on expectations. I would say the biggest thing listeners should keep in mind is that as much as we focus on the announcement of the day, the announcement of tariffs on Chinese goods and the Chinese long-planned retaliation, those lists were put together months ago. Businesses were hoping it wouldn't happen, but planning for that.

https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=289782

7 Smart Irrigation Watering Tips

(My Motherlode) Rebecca Miller-Cripps, UCCE Master Gardener

We have been lucky, in terms of water, in Tuolumne County in 2018. Late snow and rain in March and April helped offset a dry early winter and temperatures have remained fairly mild so far this summer.

…Celebrate “Smart Irrigation Month” by using some of the watering tips from the University of California Integrated Pest Management program,http://ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/ …

https://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/375518/7-smart-irrigation-watering-tips.html

The Spoon @ FOOD IT: Gabe Youtsey of UCANR, July 7

The Spoon partnered with the Mixing Bowl to interview some of the thought leaders at the FOOD IT event. This interview is with Gabe Youtsey, Chief Innovation Officer of the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR).

https://vimeo.com/album/5290019/video/278781519

Central Valley farmers brace for fallout from tariffs

(Bakersfield Californian) John Cox, July 7

Dan Sumner, an agricultural economist at UC Davis, sees trouble on many fronts. Whenever farmers install vineyard trellises or irrigation piping, he said, they're being hit by price increases resulting from new U.S. tariffs on imported steel.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/central-valley-farmers-brace-for-fallout-from-tariffs/article_4455598e-815e-11e8-a3ad-0f72b7e30692.html

5 reasons California jobs are vulnerable to the China tariffs

(ABC 10) Eric Escalante, July 6

…In contrast, UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics Professor Daniel Sumner reasons that most jobs in farming are low wage and many others are seasonal.

“Farm employment may fall slightly, but the crops are in the ground and being harvested so for this year labor impacts are smaller,” said Sumner in an email. “The longer it lasts it will begin to have significant impacts as economic growth is reduced. But farm employment effects overall will be moderate at most.”

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/california/5-reasons-california-jobs-are-vulnerable-to-the-china-tariffs/103-571455012

Five UC Cooperative Extension advisors retired on June 28

(Fruit Growers News) July 4

At the end of June, the distinguished careers of five UC Cooperative Extension advisors concluded when they retired. The new retirees are:

Mark Gaskell, UCCE small farms advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara county

Gene Miyao, UCCE vegetable crops advisor for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties

Kim Rodrigues, director of the Hopland Research & Extension Center and UCCE forest advisor

Black Sanden, UCCE irrigation, soils and agronomy advisor in Kern County

Steve Tjosvold, UCCE horticulture advisor for Santa Cruz and Monterey counties

https://fruitgrowersnews.com/news/five-uc-cooperative-extension-advisors-retired-on-june-28/

Pruning wounds can lead to cankers, UC specialist warns

(Western Farm Press) Dennis Pollock, July 3

To paraphrase Shakespeare, almond pruning can be the unkindest cuts of all. They can open the way to a range of almond canker damage, says Florent Trouillas, assistant University of California Cooperative Extension specialist at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

http://www.westernfarmpress.com/tree-nuts/pruning-wounds-can-lead-cankers-uc-specialist-warns

Wildfires are burning across the country—here's how to prepare

(Popular Science) Mary Beth Griggs, July 3

…“Know that under conditions of mandatory evacuation, you will encounter traffic, frightening conditions, highly limited visibility due to smoke, etc., so being ready and leaving early is really important,” says Sabrina Drill, the Natural Resources Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Cooperative extensions are a great place to get local information about how to prepare for wildfires in your particular area of the country.

https://www.popsci.com/wildfire-what-to-do

Five things you probably never knew about California's wildfires

(Mercury News) Patrick May, July 3

…Travis Bean writes in UC Weed Science blog that despite all the news coverage of last year's wildfires, “almost no source has identified the actual fuels involved for this most recent fire season or any other. As a weed scientist, this is a particularly alarming omission, especially when it's highly likely that invasive plants may have been partially responsible for exacerbating the intensity and spatial scale of many, if not most, of 2017's fires.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/03/five-things-you-probably-never-knew-about-californias-wildfires

Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 3:51 PM
Tags: Food Safety (90), trade (12), wildfire (151)

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