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Computing the End of E. Coli Contamination

Vegetables are key to a healthy and nutritious diet. However, eating raw leafy greens increases the risk of foodborne illness caused by pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli.

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) developed the first dynamic systems model to understand the pathway of E. coli in leafy green production. This model simulates the effects of soil, irrigation, cattle, wild pigs, and rainfall on a hypothetical farm.

“Results of our study can help prevent crop contamination at the pre-harvest stage, reducing the number of leafy green related illnesses in the future,” said Abani K. Pradhan, Ph.D. of UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

NIFA funded the research through the Specialty Research Crop Initiative.

Read more on the UMD E.coli study.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products;
Agriculture systems and technology;
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health
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