8/9/2013

Wildlife is one possible source of produce bacterial contamination, according to veterinarian and food safety expert Michele Jay-Russell, who says wildlife contamination of produce is rare but can have high consequences for consumers because animals such as deer, feral swine, birds and cattle can deposit microbes including E. coli 0:157 and salmonella onto crops or into the irrigation water. Environmentally conscious control measures are possible, and most farmers are "conservation-oriented," Dr. Jay-Russell says. Response measures vary based on the animal involved and other circumstances but may include temporary fencing or efforts to scare animals away.

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